Abraham Lincoln attempted love and left a great legacy of serenity for all history. One of his fiercest opponents throughout his presidential campaign was a guy by the name of Stanton. Stanton hated Lincoln for some reason. He exerted every ounce of his strength towards making him look bad to the general public. Stanton’s hatred for Lincoln was so ingrained that he made disparaging remarks about the president’s looks and actively attempted to humiliate him.
Lincoln was nonetheless chosen to lead the United States of America. Then came the time when he had to choose his cabinet, which would be made up of those who would work closely with him to implement forth his vision. He began randomly selecting guys for the different secretarial positions. The time had finally come for Lincoln to choose a candidate for the crucial position of Secretary of War. Who do you suppose Lincoln would choose for this position? None other than the man named Stanton.
When the news started to circulate, there was an instantaneous explosion inside the inner group. Advisor after advisor was heard admonishing the president, “Mr. President, you are making a mistake. Stanton, do you know this man? Are you aware of all the derogatory things he has said about you? He’s your adversary. He will try to undermine your program. Have you given this any consideration, Mr. President?
Yes, I know Mr. Stanton, Lincoln said succinctly in response. I know all the awful things he has said about me. But after surveying the country, I conclude that he is the most qualified candidate. Stanton therefore assumed the position of Secretary of War under President Lincoln and provided a crucial service to his country and his president.
Lincoln was assassinated not long after. There were many laudable things spoken about him. Millions of people still see him as the greatest American of all time. He was chosen by H.G. Wells as one of the six great historical figures. The Stanton quote, however, continues to rank among the most significant of all the assertions made about Abraham Lincoln. Stanton described the man he had once hated as one of the greatest people to have ever lived and declared that “he now belongs to the ages” while standing next to his dead body. Both men would have died in acrimonious conflict and goes to their graves as bitter enemies if Lincoln had despised Stanton. But Lincoln managed to change an adversary into a friend by the power of love.
It was this altitude that made it possible for Lincoln to speak a kind word about the South during the Civil War when feeling was most bitter. Asked by a shocked bystander how he could do this, Lincoln said, “Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” This is the power of redemptive power.
“The Best Revenge is Forgiveness.”
Maximilian Kikwembe, Swahili Apologist