The Better Angels of Our Nature

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861 Inaugural Address

The election is over – thankfully.  Like most others, I was totally surprised and wrong about the outcome.  However, this evening I found myself thinking about Abraham Lincoln and the “better angels of our nature.”

After returning home last night after some work travel, I found my family in various degrees of surprise, fear, and frustration about the election.  I have tried hard to raise my kids to think for themselves.  My oldest, Paige, was heartbroken that Hillary Clinton didn’t become the first female President.  We did our best to calm her down and send her off to bed.

After a full day of school Paige was feeling a little better, but not much.  Then intervention.  She was buying some supplies for a humanitarian project at Fresh Market when a man in line behind her decided to pay for the supplies – about $150 worth.  Call it what you want – divine intervention or simple kindness.  My mind reverted to Abraham Lincoln.  What my daughter saw was “the better angels of our nature.”

It made all the difference.

I doubt the man in Fresh Market reads this, but let me express my gratitude to him.  Thank you.

Finally, thank you to each of you for the simple acts of kindness you perform each day without thinking.  Today, my family was the recipient of one, and it meant more to me than anything.

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