Even 151 years after his death, Lincoln still lives on through his speeches, actions, leadership and books that continues to inspire, motivate and encourage the discouraged souls. I am one among the discouraged souls. When adversities crowd in our lives, it surrounds us from four corners, leaving us shaken, demotivated and drained. I was trapped in such juncture in 2011. A personal trauma had hit me on emotional front. I couldn’t emerge from it. The traumatic incident not only affected me personally, but also affected my professional life. In such instances, I seek solace in company of book stores. While shuffling through a pile of books, I came across the biography of Abraham Lincoln. I instantly purchased the book and started reading the inspiring life of Lincoln.
Born in a log cabin (a one room hut), Lincoln grew to become one of the most loved iconic leaders of the world. From his journey as a small worker in grocery stores to his rise as lawyer, Lincoln had done several odd jobs like cutting woods, delivering posts etc. He never shied from doing small jobs. It was this greatness that made him a favorite among masses. But his journey to White house as president wasn’t a bed of roses. He lost his mother during his childhood. He was encouraged by his step mother to take on reading. During his young years, he faced the tragic blow of his sister’s unexpected demise. This emotional loss was too hard to bear. Even in these hard circumstances, Lincoln studied law very hard to become a lawyer. He succeeded in becoming a lawyer. But he was again hit by destiny on personal front. Lincoln’s first love – Ann Rutledge died due to typhoid. Only an iron willed people like Lincoln can survive such storms.
While contesting for presidential elections, he was strongly opposed by southern people of America who were against his ideologies of abolishing slavery. Despite all these odds, Lincoln became the 16th president of America. But his road to glory was filled with pothole of difficulties. The civil war had erupted between Northern and Southern America. Even at this height of stress, Lincoln formed a team of able administrators. He even invited his rivals to be a part of his constitution. It was his large heartedness that even won the admiration of his rivals. He appointed the best people to end the civil war and unite a broken nation. In this midst, he had to face the untimely death of his little son William due to sickness. Lincoln’s wife Mary was totally devastated by this tragic blow. Even in this disheartening hour, Lincoln worked day and night to end the civil war. He spent most of his time in office, discussing with his cabinet to improvise the situation of America. His efforts were finally paid off. The slavery was abolished from America and the civil war ended. Despite facing personal losses, Lincoln built a new America, free of slavery.
His life was tragically cut short by the bullet of John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died only to live forever to inspire people through his actions, leadership and courage. When I finished reading the biography of Lincoln, I compared my sufferings to Lincoln’s tragic losses. What a courageous towering personality Lincoln was!! Every nowadays we read news of suicide cases in newspapers. Some commit suicide due to emotional breakups and failures. Is life so cheap to end? Those who are disheartened by life’s tragedies are requested to read the story of Lincoln. History is witness that people from poor background have rose to become prominent figures. In an interview, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg mentioned about Lincoln as his mentor, an inspiring figure.
Books for Reference – Campfire Comics has recently published a graphic novel on Lincoln, covering his entire life in pictures. Though they are countless books to refer, you can pick the book that matches your reading interest.
Though I may be jolted down by adverse circumstances, but the inspiring shadow of Lincoln is always on my side, guiding me to rise up for action with a new determination.