Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 26, 2014

Be a good one

By Linda Wenger | Feb 16, 2012

I never let Abraham Lincoln’s birthday go by without thought or comment. He was born 203 years ago on Feb. 12, and I remember when his birthday and George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22) were public holidays. Sometime along the way when the three-day weekend became popular, Presidents Day was created and it became a federal holiday.

At a recent social event, some good-natured rivalry arose pitting people sitting on north and south tables against one another. I recalled one of my favorite Lincoln quotes spoken during the Civil War.

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right,” he said.

It’s a quotation that I’ve used for guidance for many years. Whether I am for something or against something, I need to be mindful of the bigger picture.

Another adage important to me is, “The palest ink lasts longer than the most retentive memory.” My brain is for thinking — my pen is for remembering.

But it is also a centering thought much like Lincoln’s is. If I’m struggling with something or someone, both quotes can provide clarity as long as I remember them. In keeping with the palest ink, I have a small notebook about the size of a business card where I keep these quotes and others.

When I am in trouble, when I’ve made a mistake I recall, “To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” A man by the name of Elbert Hubbard is credited with this quote.

What I really admire about Lincoln, though, was his deep hunger for books. His elemental need for books began when he was a young boy and he had very few books available for him to read.

“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read,” Lincoln said. “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”

While writing about Lincoln, I read a new quote, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

I think that will be my truth for today.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Feb 19, 2012 01:22

I thought you’d be interested in the list of undergraduate institutions that, per capita, produce the most PhD’s.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Feb 17, 2012 10:56

President Obama shaking hands with Jim Swartz

President Barack Obama congratulates Professor of Chemistry Jim Swartz at the White House after Grinnell College and the Grinnell Science Project recieved the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Courtesy of White House Photo Office



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