There’s the famous letter from Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher.
The letter is presented below, but I will like to discuss one point from it:
Teach my son the wonder of books.
What really is wonderful about books?
1. We relate with superior minds
2. We learn from the mistakes of others
3. We learn the lessons others have learnt so that we don’t repeat the learning process
4. We expand our minds to appreciate extra possibilities
5. We revisit forgotten solutions that could make our lives easy now
6. We communicate our own lessons and leave a legacy
7. We could create alternative incomes
8. We could enter new communities and leagues that wouldn’t have been open to us before.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S LETTER TO HIS SON’S TEACHER…
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not true. But teach him also that for every Scoundrel there is a hero, that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
Teach him that a dollar earned is of more value than five found.
Teach him to learn to lose and to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy if you can.
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Teach him the wonder of books. But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school, teach him to know that it is more honourable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.
Try to give him the strength on the bandwagon.
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 that comes through.
Teach him how to laugh even when he is sad.
Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.
Treat him gently but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient and let him have the patience to be brave..
Teach him always to have sublime faith in his Creator and faith in himself too, because then he will always have faith in mankind…
This is a big order, but please see what you can do, he is such a fine little fellow, my son.