Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Dylan Johnson

Abraham Lincoln was a brilliant man even for our time. He was a wise speaker who chose his words well. His speeches, particularly the Gettysburg address will live forever in American history. His quotes as well were very clever. One of his more famous quotes goes “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Though the quote is true at times, for the most part I feel this is incorrect. That act of speaking out not only shows courage but also intelligence. Even if your statement or idea is incorrect, it shows you are into the discussion and opening your mind to what others are saying as well as letting others know your views. Although it is unwise to say something off topic or not letting others put in their ideas, as long as it is constructive no harm should be done. The wise philosopher Homer once wrote, “How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise”. I believe he is implying that those who are knowledgeable do not doubt themselves, they believe in themselves. This is somewhat contrary to Abraham Lincoln’s quote. I feel this way because if you do not doubt yourself and your intelligence then I wouldn’t you speak out and express your views. The bases of conversation, particularly debates, is about expressing how you feel and giving input on certain issues, therefore Homer’s quote seems to be more on point and helpful than Abraham Lincoln’s quote. Although by no means does President Lincoln’s quote become incorrect. Lincoln’s line is only more specific and at times irrelevant to generally conversation. Dylan Johnson Fisher High school Fisher IL