Observations, deductions and feelings fueled by tequila, tea and tobacco

Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher

In Education, Youth on October 8, 2004 at 23:57

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,
For every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time I know; but teach him if you can,
That a dollar earned is of far more value than five found,
Teach him to lose and also to enjoy winning.

Steer him away from envy if you can.
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
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 flowers on a green hillside.

In school teach him,
Its far more 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 the 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 bandwagon.
Teach him to listen to all men;
But teach him to filter all that 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 all his brawn and brain to the highest bidder;
But never put a price tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob;
And to stand and fight.
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 humankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do.
He is such a fine young fellow….
My son.

Reproduced here with much thanks from Natrajan’s Blog… without permission!!


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