That time when Lincoln was ‘dishwatery’

I don’t have to tell y’all that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — delivered 156 years ago today — is considered one of the finest and most influential speeches of all time (miles ahead of Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1999 Academy Awards speech). However, it took a while for the Gettysburg Address to gain full respect.

The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.

That was Chicago Times’s take on it in 1863. That assessment, along with their refusal to employ the Oxford comma, ruffles my feathers. They weren’t alone, though. Initial public reaction to the Gettysburg Address was mixed, divided along party lines.

Apparently, this was the mindset of many: I don’t like what he said, because he belongs to a different political party than I do.

What a shame. Think about what we miss when we ally ourselves to people and parties rather than truth and goodness.

A healthy and effective thinker considers the source, the context, and the substance together before forming a judgment. He is aware of his biases and strives for objectivity and fairness. Thus, a healthy and effective thinker is more likely to see things for how they truly are.

Take some time to think about what truths, realities, and opportunities you might be missing out on because of misguided biases. We all have them, so let’s get our minds in gear and live thoughtfully.

One thought on “That time when Lincoln was ‘dishwatery’

  1. Thanks for this post, Elizabeth. In my opinion Lincoln was the most thoughtful writer and speaker in American history. Not a perfect man but a good man. Indeed, as Walt Whitman said at the time of Lincolns passing: “Now he belongs to the ages.”

    Liked by 1 person

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