• According to legends about Abraham Lincoln, he believed: no. And: the story is quite...thought-provoking. * The story goes thus (to the best of my memory): Before Lincoln was elected to the Presidency, he and a judge were traveling along a country road in a horse-drawn carriage. They were on their way to one of Lincoln's public speeches and dressed in their finest attire. The judge opined that it was the duty of public officials in a democracy to work selflessly in service of the people, and Lincoln replied that, as far as he was concerned, no one ever performed a selfless act, and that certainly he had never done so. Given that Lincoln was already famous as a tireless public servant, the judge was flabbergasted, but before he could respond a horrifyingly loud and plaintive series of squeals brought the carriage up short. Lincoln and the judge exited the carriage and followed the noise, which turned out to be a group of four piglets who had become stuck in a mud pit. Lincoln removed his jacket, climbed down into the mud pit and one by one picked the piglets up and placed them on solid ground. When finished he was covered head-to-toe in the foul mud and pig feces in the pit. When he and the judge re-entered the carriage, the judge said, "See, now! Here you exemplify the very virtue you rejected! What more selfless act can there be than to befoul your fine clothes rescuing four worthless animals!" Lincoln replied, "To the contrary, the act was completely self-serving." "How so?" inquired the puzzled judge. "I could not stand the plaintive squealing of the piglets," replied Lincoln, "and rescuing them was the simplest way to put a stop to it."
  • "When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Yes, but it requires one not to identify with the worldy self, pride, ego, but the Holy spirit of God working through you.

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