Abraham Lincoln: On Being the Son of a Shoemaker

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

11 Responses to Abraham Lincoln: On Being the Son of a Shoemaker

  • A very inspiring anecdote about how great men conduct themselves in adverse situations and win. A good illustration in personality building class and something we can always narrate to children to help them develop a respect for any job they do.

  • The story pleases the reader. Drafted to satisfy emotional hunger. But Thomas Lincoln, Abe’s father was a carpenter.
    It is a tale, a hoax. Lincoln can stand tall in any celebrity crowd across history without crutches like this fable.

  • A great inspiring story out there. Am definately quoting it a book i am soon lauching

  • It was really a good response to that’s foolish aristocrat

    • Truly inspirational. I’m nobody to judge the authenticity of History, but, we look upon it to connote our future. I’m also a son of shoe maker. This episode of History truly inspires me. It is an inspiration to all people who face socio-eco-politico descrimination. People like Abraham Lincoln can be praised or critisized but, cannot be ignored. Truly inspirational.

  • Very nice site!

  • I don’t find it mentioned anywhere that Abraham Lincoln’s dad, Thomas Lincoln was a shoemaker.

  • YES , I LIKE IT , PREACH AND FOLLOW IT. SUCCESS, HAPPINESS AND APPRECIATION COMES WHERE ONE GETS INVOLVED IN THE WORK AND DOES IT WITH UTMOST CARE.THANKS – B SREENIVASAN – AGE 63, INDIAN, HINDU, A FATHER OF THREE CHILDRENS. ALL THREE CHILDRENS ENGINEERS IN CHENNAI, INDIA. MY EMAIL ID hydbsn@gmail.com

  • Abraham Lincolns father was a farmer and a carpenter, not a shoe maker

  • 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.

    • Indeed, it will be finally between Lord Christ and us. We are answerable to His question that I gave you a job to do on earth and did you do it sincerely.We should do our work here sincerely, not to satisfy humans, but God.

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