Tag Archives: success

Lincoln Inspiring American Heroes

Inspired by President Obama’s admiration of Abraham Lincoln, my daughter and I have been focussing some of our homeschooling efforts on learning about Lincoln’s life and his participation in American history.

This morning we watched “The Real Abraham Lincoln,” which I’d recorded off the National Geographic channel. I highly recommend it. Fascinating and accessible, even for a 6 year old! It helped that we had read a book about him yesterday so she was able to key into facts she recognized, little touchstones along the way.

What struck me today was how this man from humble beginnings made it so far. How he had the courage to face the conflict with the South, not knowing at the outset who might win.

Something I learned today was the context in which he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. As one of the commentating professors explained, this historic act occurred at a moment when Lincoln was freed by a dark hour of the war, when failure seemed a likely outcome. At this moment when there wasn’t much more to lose, he decided to make his boldest move and free the slaves. Apparently it was a “now or never” act, he had been waiting for the right moment and realized that, if the momentum of fate was truly on his side, then he would have to move forward and commit himself and the country to the profound change that he’d always wanted to see happen, to repair one of the glaring errors our founding fathers had neglected to fix, namely, the inhuman treatment and status of a large segment of the American population.

The connections with President Obama’s election are so deep that I can feel history happening now even as I watch how it happened back then. A black man finally residing in the White House. The desire to move towards a new unity, a more complete justice, a further validation of the rights of all citizens. A belief in the value and the dream of the United States of America. A willingness to dedicate one’s public and private life to serving one’s country. All these details link the two presidents by more than just the fact that President Obama studies Lincoln’s life and words.

The commentating professor also stated that one of the most important characteristics of Lincoln that led to his great success was believing in himself. After all, he ran for president directly after having lost two bids for the Illinois senate seat. A powerful reminder to us all that if we don’t stand behind our own dreams with our whole heart, then we are certainly doomed to be drowned in the inevitable, occasional failure that happens even to the greatest people who have ever lived.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under homeschooling

Success

Instead of believing that publication is the prerequisite of success, I now consider the act of submitting my work for publication as the indicator of accomplishment.  And I find that I have succeeded yet again!  🙂

Thanks to the inspiration of Kweenmama, Joy and Kimmelin, I have finally composed and sent out the manuscript for a children’s book that has sat unwritten in the back of my mind for twelve years now.

It occurs to me that, to get a piece of work in the mail, one has to believe that it is good enough to see the light of day.  But at the same time, believing in the merit of the work leads to difficulty in accepting its rejection by those who hold the keys to the presses.  I personally find this push and pull to be quite painful.  But if I play a trick on my mind, and tell it that the point is not to see the work in print, but simply to be bold enough to send it on a tour of the world, then maybe I can feel successful with the mere act of submission.

I would say I am keeping my fingers crossed, but that is energy best used on other things.  I have already done all there is to do: I have crafted the story to the best of my ability, I have researched the market, and I have mustered the gumption to seal the envelope and put it in the mailbox.

Now I can relax, take a breath, and decide on the next project.

To publish or not, that’s their problem now!

7 Comments

Filed under writing