First off, I want to apologize for missing my post last week. In an effort to make it up to all of you, I will be covering two of the Abraham Lincoln’s Rules of Conduct series in this post. These rules are closely tied to each other, and I am excited to share my thoughts on them with you.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Let none falter who thinks he is right.” Let’s break this down a little bit. First of all, according to Webster’s dictionary falter means “to stop being strong or successful.” Lincoln probably did not mean just be stubborn if you think that you are right. By the definition, a lack of success is a sign of faltering. So if you think you are right, you will be succeeding. I think that can be the measure of if you really are right. When you are right, there are positive results that demonstrate that.
Not only do you have to stand firmly when you are right, but you also have to stay humble. I've been working on not celebrating so much when I am right. It is a real struggle to resist saying “I told you so,” but I am working every day to avoid it. A sore winner is probably worse than a sore loser. It is also important to be able to admit to being wrong sometimes. If you know you are wrong, then humbly admit it. Staying humble in either scenario can be a tricky balance, but be vulnerable.
Along the same lines as the first rule, Lincoln also addressed how to act toward others when they are right. "Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." I don't think anyone should come to the defense of people out of purely a feeling of loyalty. Sure it is nice to feel like defending your loved ones, but you should be able to confront them about being wrong. I don't want people to stand by me when I am wrong. I would rather they point out to me that I am wrong instead of jumping to my defense in spite of my wrongness. Nothing is gained by defending someone in the wrong. They will never realize they are wrong if no one tells them.
It is important not to stand by people who are wrong for more than just their own sake. Standing with someone who is wrong reflects badly back on you. You can quickly become guilty by association. In each circumstance, honesty and vulnerability are key to following both of these rules. Be honest if you are wrong, and be honest if someone else is wrong.
I want to hear back from YOU! How do you feel about Lincoln’s Rules? Are any of them true for you? Do any of them feel like they apply to your life? Comment back and let me know what you think! Also, I have some more