Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States and he wrote a letter to his son’s teacher. Although this letter was written over hundred years ago, this letter is not imprisoned by the past. It reads as if it was written just yesterday.
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero: that far every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know a long time, but teach, if you can, that a dollar earned is of more value than five of found.
Teach him, to learn to lose... And also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach in the secret of quiet laughter.
Teach him, if you can the wonder of books... But also given quiet time wonder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hillside.
In a school, teach him, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own idea, even if anyone else tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough.
Teach him to listen to all men... But teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good one that comes through.
Teach him, if you can how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tear.
Teach them to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidder but never to put a prize tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes the fine steel.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have some sublime faith in mankind.
These are big orders, but see what you can do. He is such a fine fellow, my son...