The world will little note nor long remember what we say here… – Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address, 11/19/1863
Today is the 154th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, one of our species most memorable speeches. Abraham Lincoln gave it at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery on the sight of where the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War had been fought four months earlier. Five copies of the speech in Lincoln’s virtually illegible handwriting – none of which are the same – are known to exist and all differ from the day’s newspaper accounts of the speech. We have always thought Lincoln was a marvelous example of someone who had a supreme sense of himself. His goal that day was to give “a few appropriate remarks” thought it would not surprise us if Lincoln at least suspected the world would, in fact, long remember what he said that day.
Moments that are long remembered by History are rare and some are stumbled upon and happen when no one is expecting it. We shouldn’t waste our time fretting over or chasing them.
Moments that are long remembered by us, however, happen from time to time over the course of our lives. Some are planned and sometimes these plans work out. Some moments we will long remember are not planned, the result of us taking advantage of what nature and circumstance happen to have presented us.
Either way, these moments are what we should plan for, prepare for and work towards. There is no guarantee when they will show up, but if we wake up every morning committed to putting the 24 hours we have every day to work for us, if we wake up determined to get the most out of the talents we were issued at birth, then our share of memorable moments will make their way to us.
The world will probably little note nor long remember what you and I do here. Good. Not everyone will live down the ages, nor should we want to. Those that do, or try to, face burdens that us mortals do not. That’s their lookout. It’s enough that we produce the life we were meant to live. When we do we will long remember what we’ve done here.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.