“You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors… Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”
— Abraham Lincoln
No matter how we feel we have been wronged, let’s follow Lincoln’s wise advice.
At a minimum, we can pause before we take action.
We slow down to determine the right pathway.
Even if we take a stance for what is right, we must come not from a space of ourselves being right.
Taking action simply because we are right does not serve the end. Taking action because we feel wronged most certainly doesn’t.
It wins no battles. Your opponent, who is indeed your friend, will not feel heard, respected, even loved.
We must step back and come from a space of calm and centeredness, expecting the best for both parties. Then, listening as to what that next step should be, we will be led. Your response, then, is not a reaction; it is thoughtful. It is not ever in retaliation, for no law endorses it. It is of pure motive, as Abraham Lincoln speaks to “the better angels of our nature.”
It does not matter if you are in politics, business, a personal relationship, in a family. It all applies. It’s a law of nature that allows us to keep that “Union” that Abraham Lincoln fought so dearly for, for our country. Thus by his example and success, we too can take a stand to preserve the union of any relationship in our lives.
Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States, during the Civil War. He was instrumental in ending slavery and is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America. He is also known for his humble background, self-education, and skill with writing and rhetoric. He was not a member of any one organized religion, but he frequently used Biblical imagery and references in his writing and speaking, and referenced a Providence who had a higher purpose. The Civil War and the deaths of two of his children led him near the end of his life to more frequently speak of dependence on God.
Quote Source: Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, quoted by Bob Buford in his newsletter article, “Prayers of Three Great Men in Unsettled Times.”