The Best Course of Action

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Abraham Lincoln

Our country was divided, brother fought brother and it was Abraham Lincoln’s job as President to unite the country. What does he do, he plans to forgive every soldier who fought agains the Union. No trials, no POW camps, to penalties or jail time…he sent them home as he thought the country and their families had endured enough pain. Mercy, it was his first step towards reuniting the country.

I’m not sure if I had been in his position that I would have had the compassion or courage to be so bold. It took great insight and humility AND personal forgiveness for all the years of pain to propose such mercy. He chose to forgive and move forward, a great lesson for us all. The relationship with the people of the South was more important that being in the right.

When you are right, when you have all the facts on your side, and when everyone would totally agreed with a strict form of justice, maybe that is the exact time to consider mercy instead. It means taking a deep breath and letting go of all the anguish by allowing a simple act of kindness to heal everyone’s wounds. Instead of using a big stick it means giving a hug and letting it all go. This type of decision requires great empathy for human kind and faith that one act can change the world.

With all the turmoil we have in the world maybe we could all gain a great deal of wisdom by choosing mercy over right, or might, or fight. This choice could change everything, if we have the guts to not be the only winner. If we want everyone to win then mercy is our best course of action.

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