My husband found this gem and I knew I had to share it with you all. It’s perfect for Father’s Day coming up in June. It’s what every parent wants for their child. It brought tears to my eyes and deeply touched my soul. It was as if my husband was writing this letter himself. That’s the kind of father he is. Our son is one lucky young fellow! Here’s to all the dads out there. Enjoy ~

Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Teacher

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books…
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far honourable to fail
than to cheat…
Teach him to have faith
in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him
they are wrong…

Teach him to be gentle
with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon…
Teach him to listen to all men…
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good
that comes through.

Teach him if you can,
how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient…
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow,
my son!

~ Abraham Lincoln

7 Responses to “Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Teacher ~”

    Thank you very much LaRonda! I have learned a lot from Lincoln’s letter. I am forwarding this to all the fathers, sons, and teachers in my mailing list.

    Glad you liked the post, Naty. I just fell in love with it!

    ~ LaRonda


    I’m speechless. It’s a beauiful poem-something that any father can wish his son would be like when he grows up. Wonderful.

    Thanks for passing it on!! :)

    A truly beautiful and inspiring example by a father in setting out a path for his son to follow. It is able to grasp in few words what one is suppose to live his life in this passing world. I would have wanted to write something like that for my son.

    Wow this is what I needed to hear. I recently went through a test in my life and it judged everything i was. From the time I began High School and this is what the teenage generation needs to hear. It shows the good and the bad, and it does not apply to one person. Laronda you seem to always have the right words to say at the right time. Eleventh grade was a test for me, to show maturity, growth, acceptance of me and my religion is what I had to learn. This has inspired me to show who I really am. That I don’t need to wear a mask nor change for others. When your name is written on a piece of paper its just name nobody knows what color, race, religion, Deaf or Hearing you are you and that’s how we should live every day. Although Im still not open on my identity its one step at a time.


    Nice to hear from you. :) I know what you mean. I wish every one of us could have received this kind of parenting from our fathers. Those who did and those who do receive this kind of hope and guidance are lucky indeed. I consider my son one of the luckiest kids on earth. My husband could be Lincoln, himself, speaking these very words. His love for our son is that deep.

    ~ LaRonda

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Copyright 2006-2008 by LaRonda Zupp

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