With Malice Toward None; With Charity For All
I read that quote in the latest Esquire in an article about “the better toast” and instantly appreciated its meaning. The quote comes from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. The author writes “but a toast is a wish, and whether you believe in karma or not, it is always better to wish good than ill; far better to follow Shakespeare and “drink down all unkindness.”
This quote is more than a simple toast. It is a belief; a way of life that many do not follow. When you are wronged, a common reaction is to want revenge on the wrongdoer. I have been guilty of wanting revenge or vengeance on someone for any infraction. And for what, the brief feeling of satisfaction of knowing karma had made its presence felt?
When karma reigns, does that fix everything for you? No.
This may not come across as the most charitable thought, but if people spent the energy on fixing a wrong for themselves instead of any ill will at a fellow human being, that would figure to fix many issues across the board.
It is no longer worth the effort and time worrying about what people did to you. It is worth the effort and time to spend fixing what is wrong and bettering yourself.
Save yourself before saving the world.
I am applying the meaning behind the quote in my life more. Additionally, there will be something meaningful behind my toasts for years to come.
An additional side note about toasts: I recently learned it is good luck to look the person you are cheersing with. Keep that in mind, friends!
Is there a quote you use when you cheers or toast someone? What would you toast if you were with me?
I close with a toast to my friends, readers of this blog and my enemies. With malice toward none; with charity for all.