Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to His Son’s Teacher
My son will have to learn I know, that all men are not just, al men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found.
Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if
Teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick.
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books… but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill-side.
In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and though with the though.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon.
Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter al he hears o a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him, if you can, hoe to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.
Teach him to sell brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right,
Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order; but see what you can do … He is such a fine little fellow, my son.