Abraham Lincoln was a man that found himself smack dab in the middle of a fight he didn’t want nor create. But it was a fight he could not run away from; for it was a fight concerning a universal principle on which he should have remained inflexible. That principle was, that men and women are all equal and must be treated with the same respect; the principle of “Independence”. Now, this universal principle was not a man-made law at that time. No laws had been written concerning slavery. So how was one to know what the truth was? If it was so universal, why did half of all Americans at that time side with the South who wanted slavery?
With no law to hang your hat on, it is very easy to side any way you choose for the moment for there is always the excuse one can make I didn’t know sir. Is there a law that says we should not enslave our fellow man? But the Universal principle nevertheless exists and it does also demand a price even when no law states so. When we go against universal principle we sin against nature and our consciousness bears witness with us that we have committed a foul deed. There really is no place to escape. You know it as well as I. You may out-wit the law, but how do you live with yourself afterward? How do you sleep at night knowing you have committed a wrong deed? Lincoln made a decision not based on law but based on principle, a higher principle of the universe.
When we discover the universal principles in life that may or should not be broken, we should wisely conform to those principles. It is when we try to ignore those universal principles that we eventually run into a stone wall or a world of trouble. I am a teacher and in my classes when I teach I usually use an exasperating example to illustrate how universal principles work. I stand in one place and drop a pen and then pick it up again. I repeat the action. I repeat it over and over again to the point of near irritation to the participants. I then stop and explain my point. The point is that it would be rather senseless if I kept doing the same old thing, wouldn’t It? You just can’t fight gravity. It is one of those universal principles. So I would do well to obey the law instead of trying to fight it all the time. The correct thing to do is put the pen down on a surface and when you need it again you can always pick it up again. I would save time and energy and would seem a lot less stupid, wouldn’t I? Well, that is true with all universal principles.
The example of the universal law of gravity is an easy one to acknowledge. There are no toes to step on, no greedy pockets to be robbed, and no human pain to be inflicted. But there are other principles, some not as easy to recognize immediately, but they are nevertheless important for us to observe and obey.
In the case of the universal law of independence, Lincoln chose freedom over slavery because it was the right thing to do. In the end, it benefited mankind by creating a space for freedom to flourish. We may not have complete freedom, but we created growth in this space for all kinds of things to flourish. The industrial era began leading to the technology of mass production, mass transportation, aerospace development, computer technology global marketing, the communication era we live in today. All of this came because of freedom.
We must choose the right thing to do every day. When we come up against universal laws like Love they neighbor as thyself, we should obey that principle. There may be no law to define in detail what actions should be taken during a special situation, but there is always the universal principle that exists. Follow the principle. Obeying universal principles is empowering. It is empowering because the universe acts in harmony with those laws. Together you and the universe conspire together to bring about good things in the space where you are.
Today as you go out to face the world, make it your priority to obey universal principles. Doing so will empower you to meet your challenges and who knows what might become of that!