The Time Abe Lincoln’s Step Brother Asked Him For A Loan

Before he was President, Abraham Lincoln’s step-brother wrote him a letter asking for a loan. 

The response is worth quoting (emphasis added). :

Your request for eighty dollars, I do not think it best, to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little, you have said to me “We can get along very well now” but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day’s work in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work; and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting time, is the whole difficulty; and it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children that you should break this habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it; easier than they can get out after they are in.

Don’t be an idler people. Your time is worth something. Go make something of it.

And when you figure out your time should be worth more, figure out how to get it. 

Read the whole letter here (h/t Letters of Note, which I have grown very fond of being subscribed to).

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