Today is the 151st anniversary of of President Lincoln’s renowned two minute Gettysburg speech dedicating the cemetery there. After the speech President Lincoln told a friend, “That speech won’t scour. It is a flat failure.”
Due to Lincoln’s busy schedule, no one thought he could attend the ceremony. Therefore, Mr. Edward Everett, a famous orator from Massachusetts was the main presenter. Mr. Everett had studied the war, the military records and presented an accurate picture for the crowd. He spoke for two hours and it was reported that many were in tears when he stepped away from the podium. Then Mr. Lincoln presented his Gettysburg Address.
The next day Mr. Everett wrote to Lincoln and praised the “eloquent simplicity & appropriateness” of his remarks. “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”
Both were valuable speeches but Mr. Lincoln’s is the one most of us remember today. Still at that time the President doubted whether or not his speech was effective. Mr. Lincoln’s speech was short, well thought out and it came from his heart. It was definitely not a flat failure.
Many times I’ve heard parents question whether they are doing enough for their children, and like Lincoln might wonder if their actions might be a flat failure. Are they spending enough, planning enough, finding enough opportunities?
Learning doesn’t have to involve complex and expensive lessons. Simple well thought out opportunities that are matched to a child’s interests prove successful time and time again.
Of course – the lessons learned may not result in renowned speeches, but for your own family history they will become priceless memories and stepping stones on your unique families path.