Education reformers want people to think success is all about the numbers, all about the victories, all about winning some imagined race against some imagined dangerous future. They educate through fear, they educate through humiliation, they educate by reducing children to test scores.
I reject their fear, I reject the way they define success. My thinking on success is that it is not so much about your victories, but your determination to keep getting back up after you have fallen. Every poor boy knows as long as you keep getting up you can’t be beat.
Our 16th President Abraham Lincoln was a poor boy who knew how to keep getting up.
Those fill in the bubble testing reformers could learn a great deal from Lincoln a man who never took any bubble test. For President Lincoln life was the test. I love this one from Chicken Soup For The Soul.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the United States history.
1818 His mother died.
1831 Failed in business.
1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860 Elected president of the United St