When Abraham Lincoln was campaigning for the Presidency, one of his archenemy was a man named Stanton. For some reasons, Stanton hated Lincoln. He used every ounce of his energy to degrade and humiliate Lincoln in the eyes of the public. So deep rooted was Stanton's hate for Lincoln that he uttered unkind words about Lincoln's appearance and sought to embarrass him at every place with the worst violent words. But in spite of all this, Lincoln was elected president of the United States.
Now, it came a period when Lincoln was to select his cabinet which would consist of persons who would be close associates in implementing his programme. He started choosing men here and there for various secretryships. The day finally came for Lincoln to select a man to fill the all-important post of secretary of war.
You can imagine who Lincoln chose to fill this post; it was none other than the man named STANTON. There was an immediate uproar in the inner caucus when the news began to spread. Various advisers were heard saying "Mr President, you are making a mistake. Do you know this man Stanton? Are you familia with all the ugly things he said about you? He is your enemy. He will seek to sabotage your programme, have you thought this through Mr President?
Lincoln's answer was brief and to the point:"yes, I know Mr Stanton. I am aware of the terrible things he has said about me. But after looking over the nation, I find him the only best man for the job.
So Stanton became Abraham Lincoln's secretary of war, and rendered invaluable service to his nation and his president.
Not long after, Lincoln was assassinated. Many laudable things were said about him. Even today, millions of people still adore him. He was also selected as one of the six great men I history.
But of all great statements made about Lincoln, Stanton's words remain the geatest :'standing near the body of the man he once hated, Stanton referred to Lincoln as one of the greatest man that ever lived' these were his words
"Lincoln now belongs to the ages".
If Abraham Lincoln had hated Stanton, both men would have gone to their Graves as bitter enemies, but through the power of love and forgiveness, Abraham Lincoln transformed an enemy into a friend, and this brings me to the saying "to err is human ;to forgive is divine".
As I grew up, I got to understand that one of the difficult topics to write on, is forgiveness, yet it is most desirable and necessary in every society. It is the most talked about virtue, but least practiced.
Every religion and society calls for forgiveness. It is echoed by all, but practiced by few.
*this is an abstract from my upcoming book*