Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Abraham Lincoln made the great speech of his famous senatorial campaign at Springfield, Illinois. The convention before which he spoke consisted of a thousand delegates together with the crowd that had gathered with them.
His speech was carefully prepared. Every sentence was guarded and emphatic. It has since become famous as "The Divided House" speech. Before entering the hall where it was to be delivered, he stepped into the office of his law- partner, Mr. Herndon, and, locking the door, so that their interview might be private, took his manuscript from his pocket, and read one of the opening sentences: "I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free."
Mr. Herndon remarked that the sentiment was true, but suggested that it might not be good policy to utter it at that time.
Mr. Lincoln replied with great firmness, "No matter about the policy. It is true, and the nation is entitled to it. The proposition has been true for six thousand years, and I will deliver it as it is written."
My father would say the same sentiment, but in this fashion: "The time for the right idea or right action is right now." In order words, Mr. Abraham and Mr. Hoedl would agree that there comes a time for the emotional fortitude and courage to be summoned and say and do what needs to be said and done.
We, collectively as a nation, know the inherent principles that we must all follow. But so often, there are many that choose to stray from those principles so as to benefit only themselves. And so often, there are also many that choose not to step forward and hold those accountable for their straying. So, what am I trying to say on our Morning Walk?
If you involve yourself in a political, civil or religious movement to better the human condition in some way, then I applaud you for having the emotional fortitude needed. If you are helping to support or lead a cause for a portion of the population that needs a voice, then I applaud you for summoning the courage needed.
It's never easy to take one step forward when so many others are taking one step backward. But it remains a step that needs to be taken... no matter about the policy.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2003