It was in the 1830’s, The Postal department of the United States decided to club a few Post Offices and create new bigger and better ones. The aim was to reach out to more people in a more efficient way. As a part of this operation the Post Office at New Salem was relocated to Petersburg and this meant that the Post Master at New Salem would now lose his job.
Now, every Post Master gets some amount of money and resources to discharge his/her duties. When a Post Office is closed and the Post Master is discharged from his duties, an agent is sent to collect the resources and the money from the postmaster. The postmaster at New Salem was supposed to return 17 dollars to the US Postal Department.
The department felt that this amount was too little and did not send the agent to collect the dues for quite some time. It was after several months (most probably after 1.5 years or so) that the agent was sent to get the money from the old Post Master. The former Post Master of New Salem was now living in extreme hard times and was hard pressed for money. Dr. Henry, a friend of the former postmaster got to know about this, he knew that his friend who is currently unemployed would have used this money for his persona expenses. Dr.Henry accompanied the postal agent when the latter went to collect the money from the former postmaster. He wanted to loan the money to his friend and save him from the embarrassment.
However, Dr. Henry was shocked by what happened later.
This is what the Dr Henry had to say about what transpired later. (He in the paragraph below refers to the former postmaster of New Salem)
“I was about to call him aside and loan him the money, when he asked the agent to be seated for a moment, he went over to his trunk at his boarding house, and returned with an old blue sock with a quantity of silver and copper coin tied up in it. Untying the sock, he poured the contents on the table and proceeded to count the coin, which consisted of such silver and copper pieces as the country-people were then in the habit of using in paying postage. On counting it up there was found the exact amount, to a cent, of the draft, and in the identical coin which had been received. He never used, under any circumstances, trust funds.”
Amazing honesty, isn’t it? This man lost his job for no mistake of his, was now practically living in penury but did not touch a cent from the State’s money. Just look at the character of the man who faced all hardships while he had some amount of government’s money with him.
That man who surprised that postal agent and Dr. Henry with his honesty did not stop there. He went on to surprise entire country when he was elected as the 16th President of the United States of America. He surprised the world another time when he came up with the emancipation declaration that effectively banned slavery from the US. He was so strong with his convictions, character and beliefs that he laid down his life while trying to get a complete ban on slavery.
As you might have guessed by now, that noble soul who achieved all this in his life with the strength of his character is none other than the great Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America.
Having a great character is one of the greatest assets one can ever possess. One must have strong ideals in life and one should not swerve from that path come what may. Once a person stands firm on his ideals and displays his strong will, great things will start happening to him/her. Pick your ideals, be committed to your goals and start working, as you work and display your character great things start happening to you.
Have a great day.