Abraham Lincoln knew the value that difficulties can bring to a
life. One of his cabinet appointees, Edwin Stanton, frequently found
flaws with the president and criticized him — sometimes in public.
But Lincoln seemed to show excessive patience with him. The
president was asked why he kept such a man in a high level position.
Lincoln characteristically responded with a story. He told about a
time he was visiting with an old farmer. He noticed a big horsefly
biting the flank of the farmer’s horse. Lincoln said he reached over
to brush the fly away. As he did so, the farmer stopped him and
cautioned, “Don’t do that, friend. That horsefly is the only thing
keeping this old horse moving.”
Even life’s many irritations and problems have their place. That
horsefly kept the horse moving. Edwin Stanton, no Yes Man, kept the
president sharper, honest and self-reflective.
Sometimes we make the best of our problems. But how wonderful it is
when those problems can make the best of us.
— Steve GoodierShare on Facebook