Reading even a few Abraham Lincoln quotes helps you appreciate the depth and extent of his wisdom and character.
If George Washington kept the United States from falling apart before it had really got started as first president, fast forward to a time when it didn’t look like the United States would celebrate its 100th anniversary as a country. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president US president, a self-taught man from humble circumstances, cast a vision of integrity – despite the cost – for the union in his words and actions. Here are just a few thoughts from ‘Honest Abe’ – a common man with uncommon wisdom applied to personal success, politics, virtue, and even the practice of law!
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
Perhaps the most famous and immortal words that Lincoln ever spoke are known as the Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate…we can not consecrate…we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.