How to Live a Contagious Life (11 of 17) by Chuck McAlister

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Dr. Chuck McAlister
(Nehemiah 6:1-14)


-- Years ago there was a young, upstart, hot-shot attorney that had developed such a critical spirit that no one liked to be around him, much less associate with him ... He was particularly noted for attacking his opponents through scathing, anonymous letters written to and published in the local newspaper.
-- In 1842 he ridiculed the wrong man. James Shields did not take kindly to the anonymous writer who lampooned him in the Springfield Journal. Mr. Shields tracked down this attorney who had publicly embarrassed him and challenged him to a duel. The man was a writer, not a fighter, but he could not get out of the duel without saving his honor. He was given the choice of weapons and chose swords in hopes of using his long arms to his advantage. He trained with a West Point graduate as he prepared to fight to the death. On the appointed day he met Mr. Shields on a sandbar in the Mississippi River. At the last minute their assistants intervened and convinced the men to stop the duel. The lawyer returned to his practice as a changed man. Never again did he openly criticize anyone.
(How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie, 1981, p. 9-10)
-- In fact, several years later when he was severely criticized by those who were his closest advisers for receiving the enemy on the occasion of entertaining several former confederate soldiers in his office, Abraham Lincoln responded, "The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend."
-- Abraham Lincoln became a changed man ... so much so that people clamored to be around him ...
-- Edwin Stanton ... viciously attacked Lincoln throughout Lincoln's public life ... but Lincoln never retaliated as the younger Lincoln would have done ... Instead, when Lincoln became President he appointed Stanton, his bitter enemy, to his cabinet as Secretary of War.
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