Does It Matter How I Got Here?

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Many years ago I heard a story
about a letter Abraham Lincoln
had written to one of his generals
at some point during the Civil War.
From what I recall, the general had
been hesitant at a time when
immediate decisive action was
needed to achieve a victory,
and because of his delays and
decisions a defeat seemed eminent.

The letter from Lincoln was harsh, and I suspect that
had the general received it would have probably resigned.

But the general never received the letter.
It was found after Lincon’s death locked away in a desk drawer.

We may never know the real reason it wasn’t sent.
Those who understood Lincoln theoried that after
writing the letter, he stepped back and tried
to put himself in the general’s shoes.
There he imagined the heavy casualties of the battle,
and what  it would mean to give the orders that may
only result in casualties and death without victory.

And in that frame of mind, and in those “shoes”
he folded up the letter and locked it away -
for he better understood the general’s actions.

I make decisions that are influenced by my knowledge,
which is a collection of my experiences as well as the
experiences of others along with the many ways I have
“educated” myself through the years.

Just like you do.

Along the way, one of my “saving grace’s” in watching
other people making decisions that affect their lives
negatively has been this revelation:

I would have done the same
if I were in their shoes and
experienced their Life as they had.

We all see people do things that drive us crazy,
make us mad, sad, and leave us shaking our heads.

Guess what ?

We’ve done a few things that have made others
look at us and think we’re crazy, dumb, mean, etc.
(Trust me – many more where these came from :P)

So next time you are about to cast judgment, or
form an opinion on any matter regarding another;
try this first.

Take a penny from your pocket and ask yourself
” What would Lincoln do ?”

Chances are,
the same as you…

~Rob
ps -
take a deep breath, smile and say

“There, but for the Grace of God, go I…”

:)

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