“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln did not have any easy life. He was born in a one-room frontier log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm, which was perhaps ironic. His grandfather was killed in a raid by Native Americans, and his father, who was eight years old when he witnessed his father’s death, had to work from a young age. The Lincoln’s first farm, where Abraham was born, was lost in a land dispute, and their second farm had the same fate. His mother died from milk sickness when he was eleven, and his sister Sarah, who had taken over the duties of their mother and whom Lincoln was very close, died when he was only twenty-one. He was largely self-taught, having had, what biographers think, a year in total of teacher-led training. The woman that Lincoln would perhaps have gone on to marry, Ann Rutledge, died of typhoid fever at the age of twenty-two. Three of his four children died in childhood. He lost jobs, lost elections, lost a business, which forced him to file for bankruptcy and be liable for his business partner’s debt for years (bankruptcy laws were very different then). His election was a catalyst for a civil war, that in the end he was assassinated for. His marriage was sometimes rocky and he suffered from depression. Yet despite all his sufferings, he was able to say this. So I think it is made a little more poignant in the knowledge of his disappointments, struggles, losses and failures.