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#AbrahamLincoln - The Great Orchestra Conductor / #executivefunction #fortitude #riseabove #thisAmericanQuilt

Fortitude and conviction partly stems from knowing who you are and where you are going and having a strong foundation on which to rest on. It also stems from being clear on your goals and your ability to anticipate and predict many of the obstacles that will show up on your path. In the same way, a sailor knows not the exact conditions that may buffet the ship, but experience delineates an ability to foresee general conditions that will be experienced.

Abraham Lincoln was such a man in a time of great division. Lincoln took over not just because of his values and ideals or his ability to articulate ideas, but because of his ability to bring together people with very different view points on how to move America forward. He came in to the arena at a time devoid of strong, independent leadership which was needed, yet not found in the land. His friends, he kept close to him and his enemies he kept even closer. For this he became respected and valued as a fair and equitable man of caliber. Unbiased in his approach and not subservient to petty squabbles and rancorous conversation he created a living legacy as he governed being known to see beyond party rhetoric lines and connect with people heart to heart and mind to mind. It was precisely his ability to orchestrate in such a fashion that made Lincoln 'Lincoln.'

This quality in a man or woman is more valuable than all the silver and gold rock found in the earth. Intellectual and emotional intelligence balanced with the acumen of fairness and graceful equity are not traits that are proactively taught as priorities. Instead, book smarts, athletic agility and responsibility, all good things, take the front seat. So it is, that the intangible traits found in Abraham Lincoln are seldom seen in an individual. This is not due to lack of intellectual or emotional capacity but because they are not readily recognized as valuable characteristics to be taught early on to most youth.

President Lincoln was known to be serious and dedicated, as well as affable and humorous. He kept his loyal staff on their feet and used his understanding of personalizing relationships to control a government filled with striking ideals. A master player in exercising his executive function skills, like foresight (anticipate/ predict), behavior modulation, goal-directed persistence (perseverance) and mental flexibility (shift/ transition) he was able to stay steps ahead of the pack and lead when others could not rise above the pitch of politics.

It is this that engendered Abraham Lincoln to me as a cornerstone role-model next to the likes of George Washington, Mohandas Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus and even my own mother.

As members of a pro-active community, do we model how we rise above and transcend the day to day politics with a spirit and attitude that shows our children this kind of fortitude and conviction? This idea becomes much more serious and magnified for a world leader. Shouldn't we be instilling it on a mass level as a learning skill priority in our kids so that we can have a great harvest of these kinds of thinking, being and acting human conductors?

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