Letter to a Teacher

WetdogWetdog Senior MemberPosts: 5,149 Senior Member
Some of you may have read this at some point in your life.
I would say not just to a teacher, to parents, and Americans in general.
He was a truly great man.

Abraham Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader...
Teach him for every enemy there is a
friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick... Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books...
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far honourable to fail
than to cheat...
Teach him to have faith
in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him
they are wrong...
Teach him to be gentle
with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon...
Teach him to listen to all men...
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good
that comes through.

Teach him if you can,
how to laugh when he is sad...
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness...
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient...
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do...
He is such a fine fellow,
my son!
I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
I find the willingness to give it up frightening.

Replies

  • Mr. RightMr. Right Senior Member Posts: 535 Senior Member
    I had not seen that before. All I can say is Wow, just Wow!

    From postings on this board, it would appear that you and I are about 180-degrees apart in our political beliefs. But knowing that you might be filtering your beliefs through a philosophy like that will cause me to respect your posts a lot more than I would have without it. We share some values. And maye we all need some reminders of that on occasion.
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,149 Senior Member
    This is why I never think of politics or other such differences in a personal way. The truth is that we all have much in common in regard to values, but we don't take enough time to notice or remember that fact. The problem is that we take ourselves and our own opinions too seriously. If one believes too heavily in what they think, you can't listen and you cannot really know the whole truth, the truth about the subject, about those that disagree with you, and the truth about oneself. The simple fact is that we all share the same core values, believe in virtue, but we all forget that sometimes.

    Try to give my son
    the strength not to follow the crowd
    when everyone is getting on the band wagon...
    Teach him to listen to all men...
    but teach him also to filter
    all he hears on a screen of truth,
    and take only the good
    that comes through.

    I would only add to

    and teach him to use that screen of truth
    to filter hiss own words as well.
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.

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