Dear Christian Radio,
11 years since the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist and former slave, is asked to speak in Washington D.C. at the dedication ceremony of the Freedman’s Monument. This monument was paid for by former slaves who “most directly benefited from Lincoln’s act of emancipation.”
The actual date of the ceremony?
April 14th, 1876.
11 years to the day when Lincoln was shot.
The crowd is at full capacity.
The crowd is free of slaves.
It’s made up of all free people, no matter the race.
Douglass stands to give his address.
Imagine the former slave locking eyes with slaves now freed and soldiers who fought for that freedom.
Douglass then arrives at this moving section of his speech.
Picture the crowd as you read this…
“Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statement to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.
He [Lincoln] was assailed by abolitionists; he was assailed by slave-holders; he was assailed by the men who were for peace at any price; he was assailed by those who were for a more vigorous prosecution of the war; he was assailed for not making the war an abolition war; and he was bitterly assailed for making the war an abolition war.”
Now imagine Douglass…arms outstretched as if signaling to both black and white standing together. He delivers the key line…
“BUT NOW…BEHOLD THE CHANGE.”
Did you feel that moment?
Douglass just made a grand point.
The work of Lincoln was realized because the President NEVER QUIT.
But thanks to what Lincoln did, Douglass could say to a crowd that looked vastly different than it would have 20 years earlier…BEHOLD THE CHANGE.
How had the nation arrived at this moment?
Douglass uses the word “assailed” six times in that one paragraph.
Thesarus.com lists common words such as: bash, berate, blast, criticize, revile, trash, assault, blister and beset.
He did not quit.
He weathered criticism from every faction and section of the nation.
Yet, the bashing did not stop him.
Ever feel assailed?
Ever feel berated?
Arguments between sales and programming.
Fundraising forces you to innovate.
A team member quits unexpectedly.
Projects are running late.
You have a day of complaints from various sources.
As the leader, you go home defeated.
Be like Lincoln.
Soldier on through all the mess.
If the leader quits, all progress comes to a stop.
Lincoln didn’t stop in pressing the issue of emancipation.
Thanks to the fact he didn’t…behold the change.
Rally the team.
Get a second wind.
Think about it…since you didn’t quit, what could the organization accomplish?
It won’t be easy….but then…
Easy never changed the world.
Brian is the Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio in Blacksburg. PAR has five brands which include Spirit FM in Lynchburg, VA; WCQR in Kingsport, TN; Positive Hits, WPER in Richmond/Fredericksburg, VA; Joy FM in Winston Salem, NC; Walk FM in Ashland, KY, Huntington,WV. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org