Abraham Lincoln

“In this temple
As in the hearts of the people
For whom he saved the union
The memory of Abraham Lincoln
Is enshrined forever”

I went for a stroll this evening, this particular one with a singular purpose – Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson. Three great men. Three great presidents. Three great memorials or monuments.

For the past 35 minutes, I’ve been staring at Abe. To his credit, he’s been staring back. There is something about his pose, sitting on the chair, with his arms outstretched, his head cocked. It doesn’t seem real, and yet I can feel his presence.

I think about our country then versus what it is now. Would he be rolling over in his grave? Are there tears I see rolling down his giant marble face. Perhaps I am imagining this; perhaps I am not. In this world of social media, where many hide behind a phone, tablet, keyboard and monitor, where we are just as divided today – if not more so – than we were then. Where this world of political correctness means saying anything is offending everyone, where finger pointing is commonplace and being intolerant of a differing point-of-view the norm rather than the exception.

But then I think about it some more, we see what we want to see. One of my best friends’ Paul posted this on his Facebook wall.

“For all the haters of Facebook, probably not many on here, since this is where I’m posting this… I would say this about being on here. Whenever, I log in, I see how people are doing something positive. Spending time with families and friends, getting healthier, transforming their bodies, helping move the needle for something they support or believe in. And at any given time when I see this it motivates me to do something more: Plan a vacation, get a workout in, reach out to someone I’ve loss touch with, hug my wife and daughter… Do we need Facebook to do those things? No. Of course not. But for those using it, I’m sure it’s done the same for you at some point.

Those on the other side of the argument have said it waste time, serves people’s own egos, allows people to share their opinions, where it otherwise wouldn’t be welcome. I get all that too. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t let it…”

I think Abe would have been very proud of that.

The marble floor is cold tonight. It’s 10:42 PM, and a million thoughts encircle my mind, a far cry from the solitary emptiness of thought I can conjure at a moments notice hiking my beloved Marin Headlands. Before me in the distance stands the Washington Monument, its reflection dazzling across the water between it and me. The reflection immediately brings me back to my time staring at the Taj Mahal. Those were good days with good memories. It’s time for a walk. Though it looks close, the giant obelisk stands a mile away from where I sit.

So I start my way down the steps.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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