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    JOHNTJ1   72,505
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The Other Side of the Coin

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

They say that Abraham Lincoln was often ridiculed about his physical appearance. So, often, in fact that he refused to ever look in a mirror for more than a few seconds. Throughout his political career his opponents used Lincolnís physical stature as a campaign tool against him. One author went to the point when he described Lincoln as saying ďthere was no physical attribute about him, at all, that was appealing.Ē I read last night that Lincoln confided in his wife that those verbal barbs stung and hurt him, even when he used his famous humor to deflect them.

Later in life as president of the United States Lincoln became frustrated with a number of his commanders during the Civil War. He wrote scathing letters to them and then promptly slid them in his desk drawer, never to be mailed. When he removed an officer from command he did it privately, professionally and always found some facet of the manís performance to praise, despite the fact the commander had not performed up to speed at all times.

Lincoln was criticized in the papers and in the halls of Congress for being too easy or soft on people. He was lambasted for letting his opponents off the hook without tearing them down. Lincoln as we say today ďhad been there, and done that.Ē

I thought about this while I drifted off to sleep last night. I thought about how I felt when people made remarks or comments about my weight or my build. I thought about how much it hurt me to hear those things, how it stung. I thought about how it felt to be on the outside looking in. I thought about Lincoln.

We donít often subscribe those raw human emotions to our historical heroes. It shocked me a bit to read Lincoln was offended by those remarks. But I realized that if he hadnít gone through those hurtful times he never would have grasped an understanding of what other people felt when in the same situation. Itís that part of Lincoln, the kind and wise leader, we always recall, never everything he went through to reach them. Those traits were only fashioned in a furnace of pain.

I donít like it when people say thing about me that are mean or cruel, but maybe, moving forward, like Lincoln Iíll have an understanding of how what I say and do affect other people. I sure hope so.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 11:06AM

    We never know what people have been through to make them the way they are as adults...unless they have a biography!!

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NASFKAB 8/10/2011 12:44AM

  Glad you could understand the pain of being misunderstood.

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CARTOONB 8/9/2011 11:36PM

    Are you saying that you look like Lincoln? emoticon

I like the idea that there are reasons we go through the pains we go through...whatever they may be.

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WANDAH3 8/9/2011 8:18PM

    Love the blog John...truer words have not been spoken. By walking a mile in some else's moccasins a person gains a much better understanding.


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LYNMEINDERS 8/9/2011 7:07PM

    Awesome blog.....and very timely....
Have a leadership situation that needs dealing with and I will remember Lincoln when dealing with it....
Has given me a different prespective for sorting it....
Thanks John

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FROGGERHKC 8/9/2011 6:51PM

    Great blog, thanks for sharing!!! :)

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WALKIETALKIE 8/9/2011 6:11PM

    And its just as bad or worse when you say those things to yourself.
Great blog.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 8/9/2011 4:28PM

    When I see or hear someone do something that makes me feel bad, I often wonder if I have said or done the same thing. I try to make a pact with myself not to be that way, because I know how it has made me feel. We cannot change others, but we can be aware of how we are and we can change that if we are honest with ourselves.
You are a kind and generous person. Anyone that says negative things about you does not know you and they are the poor ones. I would rather be fat and nice than skinny and mean!
Keep it up!

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    We should all refrain from making hurtful comments period and focus on what is kind, good, etc.

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SPEEDY143 8/9/2011 1:57PM

    The political arena sure hasn't evolved much. And to think how dear Mr. Lincoln's face evokes such pride and love of country now it just makes you wonder. Agreed, the pain we suffer does make us stronger and verbal abuse may not always show on the outside but it does scar us inside. Wise words today... I'll be remembering them emoticon

emoticon Linda

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/9/2011 1:07PM

    It is truly hard to let things slide off us when people say mean or cruel things, but if we can take that and use it to inspire us to be kinder and more compassionate, then maybe it's not all bad. Thanks for the bit of history, I have always admired Lincoln and do even more now!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 8/9/2011 12:29PM

    Thanks for sharing the history lesson about a different side of Lincoln than we normally hear about! We try very hard to let those hurtful things slide off our backs, but it does hurt and tears down a little bit of our self-esteem, if we let it. We do need to realize that our words do hurt people and tear them down. We need to build them up. I, too, am a people pleaser. However, we seem to be willing to say things to our family members that we wouldn't to others, knowing they will love us in spite of it. But we need to treat those closest to us the best, because they love us for who we are and accept us for who we are.

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HDHAWK 8/9/2011 11:30AM

    Great food for thought. Then we people pleasers have to remember not to care so much about what other people think about us. Easier said than done!

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MOMONTHERUN1 8/9/2011 10:24AM

    As always a great blog and thanks for sharing!


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KKINNEA 8/9/2011 10:14AM

    Great blog, I needed these reminders today.

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SUSANS_TURN 8/9/2011 9:25AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing that!

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CMA444 8/9/2011 9:17AM

    Remember the phrase "Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me."? I call BS on that statement right now. :) Words do hurt. Even if we don't let that person know that we are hurt, they still sting down deep. Great blog John!

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SHERRYJVP 8/9/2011 9:17AM

    very enlightening. thanks for sharing. I am reminded that I may need to watch what I say.

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MADKAPKID 8/9/2011 9:05AM

    John...words can STING worse than a slap in the face. People don't think about it often. Look at the comedians today that tear people apart over wieght issues....and they say its only done in fun. NO one takes them seriosuly. WELL.....the people they are making fun of do. I agree.....thinking of what we say ...before saying it is a good thing. I like today's blog a lot. Have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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GRAMLORI 8/9/2011 8:45AM

    Thank you. We can never be reminded enough about that. One of my favorite sayings is:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Thanks John. Have a blessed Tuesday!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 8/9/2011 8:42AM

  you are full of such great insights and wisdom.. thank you for sharing yourself with us...

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/9/2011 8:32AM

    I loved reading this. Lincoln has always been a favorite of mine. Maybe all the tough things I'm going thru right now are to help me be compassionate when I meet someone who is struggling.

Great blog John.


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