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Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


Replace anguish with hope

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“As he had done so many times before, Lincoln withstood the storm of defeat by replacing anguish over an unchangeable past with hope in an uncharted future.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

One of Abraham Lincoln’s greatest strengths was what today would be called “emotional intelligence.” As Doris Kearns Goodwin documents in her brilliant biography of this brilliant man, Lincoln was able to put his ego on the back burner and work with people he had every right to dislike and keep out of the seats of power. But perhaps his greatest attribute was his ability to endure one sorrow after another without every losing faith in what the future would bring. He was able to, as Winston Churchill – another of history’s great leaders in the darkest of times – would later put it, go from one defeat to another without loss of enthusiasm.

Note carefully that Lincoln’s faith in the future did not include denial of the present. You can sense his anguish in almost every letter, every speech, during the Civil War. But without fail, he would point from the dark present to a brighter future, as in the Gettysburg Address which concluded that the men who died there shall not have died in vain, and that their government and nation should have a new birth of freedom.

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