HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
This quote is beholding to a few gentlemen, many, many years ago, who are remembered for stating these mindful words. Benjamin Franklin comes to mind first and foremost, as he used them in moments of sound reflection of the meaning. I admired his spirit to honor to our homeland, the United States of America, as he did more than many to pave the way in seeing this great nation come to its fruition of becoming the land of the free and the home of the brave. I needed to reflect on those as a pivotal moment was soon to happen on this day. I was ready. It has only taken all of my life to be at this moment in time. And for that I thank God for my health and family.
Abraham took a moment to look back at his young frontier life, growing up in hard times, as it was the way of life back then. He never complained. One did what one needed to do to help out. Family was always first. Chores needed attention at every moment from sunup to sundown. He was drawn to the water as a young boy. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe, was one of his many favorite books in the struggles of learning how to read. As tall and lanky as he grew to be this did not deter him from churning an oar within the area of the nearby waterway. This brought him peace. Having his second brother challenge him on occasion brought their paddle competition to a 'fight til you get tossed in the drink'. Abe did have to admit that his brother won more times over, but he soon chose a subtle way of revenge on the water. The family migrated from Kentucky to Indiana and then settled in Illinois. At the age of 21, he left home to fond farewells from his new 'angel' mother and his father. The chosen way to a new adventure began with a long paddle down river to New Salem, Illinois. This led to a job as part of the riverboat crew. They toiled many a day in all types of weather. Abe also could wield an axe if need be as it was his learned and practiced strong able-bodied manner, that was his success. It was a grand time being on his own regardless of rain, wind and snowfall. One flatboat ride took him down the Mississippi River to a new part of the country. Several years later his wandering ways brought him to different, yet interesting jobs as it was always about who you would meet along the way. From early on self-education by littles, now and then, taught him how to speak and engage with a skill that brought many ways to read people. This gave him opportunities to engage in conversations whether it was simple common knowledge topics or more in depth as his wordage grew. Abe was growing to a point of knowing more about the evolution of this country, where we stood as individuals, and gradually more about politics as he made his way in town.
Soon he was called to engage in the Black Hawk War. It was not pleasant, but a duty, as he volunteered and was made a captain of the militia. This was not his forte but he stayed until the end. He was finding ways to lead without being overbearing and allowing purpose to guide him.
The more he engaged with people the more he was finding a calling to a trade in the law practice. He learned more grammar and mathematics and was becoming more able to study the law books. With determination he passed the bar and began to practice law. He found opportunities to partner with several others and knew this was an important step in his life. Before long, one law partner watched the way Lincoln whittled a strange looking wooden ship. Abe was excited about how his invention would bring about a revolution in the steamboat industry. His US Patent, details improving the navigation of boats in shallow waters with balloon-type bellows with a syncronized method. It was practical and well thought however his focus remained on the law, and government created by and for the people. He excelled in all matters of law and became well-known for his strong knowledge and earnest ways of doing what was right.
Abraham Lincoln was drawn into more of the politics of the day as time went on. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." He took these words and used his thoughtful, engaging and truthful manner to rise against or go forward through the many challenges he was faced with leading up to his stand against the Dred Scott case. This epic failure, however, lead to more national recognition as a possible presidential candidate and was nominated in May of 1860, then elected in November and inaugurated in May of 1861. Hurrah!
The years had been quite a full bucket of so much more than Abraham had envisioned. He brought his simple yet engaging and purposeful ways from the law side to the political field leading to his achievement of a lifetime; the presidency. As he stood quietly with reflection on how life had taken ahold of him the image he saw in the mirror was still that boy who was the tall one and a might lanky, yet with a backbone made of steel. Faith, honor, humor and courage was to be his gifted words to aid the healing of a country torn apart in a civil war for too long between the North and South. He saw his chance to articulate that message. With his wife, Mary, and children by his side, this was for each one. Their future was here and now. He would do right by them, " so help me God."
One last moment before he was escorted to the podium, Abraham Lincoln adjusted his tie, smoothed his beard and stepped back with a final salute in the mirror with malice toward none.