Lincoln’s Towering Genius

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“Towering genius disdains a beaten path.  It seeks regions hitherto unexplored”  Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum address 1838

OK, so he wasn’t really talking about towers per se….or at all.  

The person he could be referring to could easily be himself 24 years later and one month before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  He spoke before Congress in 1862 saying: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion.  As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

What fascinates us about great men like Lincoln and Washington is their steadfastness in the face of diversity and chaos.  And we’re not talking annoying setbacks or minor squabbles but seemingly insurmountable hurdles that, if not overcome, would change the course of America’s history.  They not only faced opposition from great armies dedicated to their personal destruction but from friends, confidantes and colleagues…even their own government… who doubted them at critical moments.  

Their greatness was seeing our country through uncharted territory when, often, the only certainty that existed, the only pulse keeping this country alive, was their own resolve.  They knew they were men of destiny and if they didn’t create a solution at that moment in time, then their respective causes, forming a nation and keeping one from dissolving, were lost.  And, more than anyone, they knew the price that had to be paid to do it.

In light of what they faced and the time in which they faced it, modern issues, however contentious, melt in comparison.  Rather than solemnly commemorating their birthdays, we can honor their sacrifice by “disdaining the beaten path,” “thinking anew” and “acting anew.”

As the man said: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”  Towering, indeed.

By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers

February 19, 2018 

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