The first day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is trustworthy. To be trustworthy means that others can depend on you, that you are an honest person; or someone that chooses to do the right thing and does it consistently.
Abraham Lincoln is consistently rated as the greatest American president of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. While we often look at history with rose-colored glasses, all accounts record Lincoln as being a strong, intelligent, thoughtful, humble, honorable and trustworthy person.
He was given the name “Honest Abe” early in life when working as a store clerk. One story tells of him realizing he had short-changed someone by a few pennies and instead of dismissing it, he closed the shop and walked as far as necessary to correct the mistake.
Even as a lawyer, a seemingly strange profession for an unapologetically honest man, Lincoln was sought out to act as judge or mediator in various contests, fights, and arguments in court, or in his personal relationships. Even his political opponents admitted that Lincoln’s character and actions made him a trustworthy person.
Lincoln was then trusted to assume the role of the 16th president of the United States during a time of civil war. Despite the devastating conflict between the North and the South, Lincoln maintained his trustworthy nature by his willingness to do what was right and to do it consistently.
And since this is a Christmas message, here are a few stories of Lincoln during the holiday season:
On Christmas day in 1862, Lincoln spent the day visiting Union soldiers in hospitals bearing Christmas gifts of books and clothing.
Then, on Christmas day in 1864, a decisive victory was made for the Union. On the same day, the newspaper printed the “The Union Christmas”(as seen above as the featured image) by Thomas Nast, a famous print artist. This print depicts President Lincoln standing at a door, offering the cold and frostbitten Southern soldiers an invitation to join him at the Christmas dinner table. This art was probably not commissioned by Lincoln, but is an artist’s imagining of what Lincoln would do if cold and hungry Confederate soldiers showed up on his doorstep on Christmas day.
Lincoln exemplified trustworthiness in every aspect of his life. Because others could rely on him to do the right thing, to be fair and dependable, Lincoln was able to help get the U.S. through a most difficult time in our history. May we be inspired to be a little more honest, a little more reliable, a little more trustworthy.
For the next twelve days, visit the Voice of Scouting to find inspiring Christmas messages based on the twelve points of the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
This year, the Christmas messages will focus on the lives of historical figures and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law.