Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln! Many of you know that in addition to being a singer/songwriter, I'm also a middle school history teacher (or is that the other way around?)...We study Old Abe every year, and each time around I learn so much more about this complex human being who worked tirelessly to keep our Union together, when many argued (quite articulately, actually) that perhaps we'd be better off as 2 separate nations. Abe was human, through and through. Hated by both Northern abolitionists and Southern secessionists alike, his moderate politics didn't please either extremes. It's kind of crazy that he was elected at all, both times. I guess I love studying Abe because I continue learning how nobody is perfect, even our heroes, and most people, no matter whether we like them or not, just get up every morning and do the best they can to make another pleasant day a reality. Life is hard, but we all live it, and we do the best we can. Abe didn't free the slaves (the 13th Amendment did), and many times he put himself above the Constitution (as all Presidents have done), but he did fight to save a Union that was worth saving. His actions saved a country that would surely have permanently divided, over issues (states' rights and slavery) that were fixable, if we could just confront them head on, as Lincoln did. Often times, facing problems makes one unpopular. Ultimately, however, people grow once problems are faced and dealt with. The country, made up of people, works the same way.
Happy Birthday Abe,