Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the United States and served in that capacity from March of 1861 until he was assassinated in 1865. Throughout his life he had several nicknames but the one that everyone recognizes is "Honest Abe".
Lincoln was born in a Virginia log cabin and raised in poverty. He had very little education and several careers before his death but still was able to be a strong leader for the country during the Civil War which held both military and moral crises.
There are several things that we can learn about the truth from "Honest Abe" through study of his character and actions as follows:
Telling the truth is both a choice and a commitment- Lincoln was verbal about the fact that he never told a lie and planned to never do so.
Honesty is about being yourself without putting on airs- There was never any attempt to cover up Lincoln's humble beginnings, lack of education or limited resources. He not only was honest about his situation in life but strived openly to improve it through study and discussion with others.
Even the little things count when it comes to truth- The nickname "Honest Abe" originated when Lincoln was a young general store clerk. Apparently if he found an error in making change for a customer or noticed that someone had not received their full order, he would close the store and walk miles to make it right with that customer.
You need to point out dishonesty in others- It is not enough to be honest yourself. You also need to point out any dishonesty in others. As a lawyer, Lincoln once had a witness who lied on the stand. He announced to the Court that this man's testimony should be ignored even if it would help Lincoln's case because he preferred to win the case with the right information as evidence.
Not everyone will agree with you when you are honest - There were times when it seemed that no one supported Lincoln as he fought for unity, equal rights, liberty, democracy and nationalism. Despite objections and disagreeing ideas, however, he continued to openly push onward.
There can be danger in expressing the truth - Lincoln was threatened many times and in 1865 he was assassinated for his beliefs. Even though he knew the risks for his personal safety, he continued to speak the truth every chance that he had.
Honesty can be a life-long character trait- There is no evidence that Lincoln ever lied or participated in activities in a dishonest manner. In fact, he was proud of the fact that he could always be depended upon to be honest with others.
Some people lie on a regular basis. Some even think that it is funny to be dishonest. The life of Abraham Lincoln is a testimony to the fact that being honest has its disadvantages but, at the same time, can provide an example and leave a legacy for all to respect and admire.
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker