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Abraham Lincoln: On Being the Son of a Shoemaker

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Abraham Lincoln: On Being a Shoemaker's Son

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker.  And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president.  They were aristocrats, who thought it was their birthright to be in the highest government post.  A shoemaker’s son?  On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up.  He was a very rich aristocrat.  He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.”  And the whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

But Lincoln – and that type of person is made of a totally different mettle – Lincoln looked at the man and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here… because the way he made shoes, nobody else can.  He was a creator.  His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it.  I want to ask you, have you any complaint?  Because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes.  But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes.  He was a genius, a creator, and I am proud of my father!”

The whole Senate was struck dumb.  They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was.  He had made shoe-making an art, a creativity.  And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard.  And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any complaint.  The man looked silly.  Lincoln insisted, “You have to speak!  Why have you become dumb?  You wanted to make me a fool, and now, look all around: you have made a fool of yourself.”

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It does not matter what you do.  What matters is how you do it – of your own accord, with your own vision, with your own love.  Then whatever you touch becomes gold.

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Source:  The Book of Understanding by Osho

  • Paul Luiso

    Colossians 3:23-24 English Standard Version (ESV)
    23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

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