Friday, December 17, 2010

Lincoln and Liberation

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the sixteenth President of U.S.A, was a great philanthropist and champion of human rights and dignity. His long struggle against slavery led to the amendment of the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States of America. He was assassinated in 1865.

There is a popular legend about his early days. Once, Abraham Lincoln happened to see a slave auction. He was disgusted by the sights and sounds of buying and selling of human beings in public. He saw a young woman displayed for sale as a slave. Her eyes were filled with contempt on everyone around her. She showed signs of intense sufferings she encountered throughout her life. When the bidding began, Lincoln offered a bid for her. He countered others’ bids with larger amounts until he won. He paid the auctioneer the money and took title to the young woman. She stared at her new master with hatred. She asked him what he was going to do with her. Lincoln told her, "I'm going to set you fully free. You can say and do whatever you want and go anywhere you wish to.” She was hearing such kind words for the first time.

"Then I'm coming with you!" she said with a smile.

Mark Twain, the great American novelist (1835-1910) remarked, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read”. Compassionate love can be understood even by the mentally retarded.

The great British Poet Laureate, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) said, “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love”.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath,Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.

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