With President’s Day as a backdrop, an anecdote about Abraham Lincoln, and deep meaning in a simple story.

In a conversation with another passenger while riding in a horse-drawn coach, Abraham Lincoln was discussing a philosophical issue, arguing that selfishness prompts all good deeds. Along the way, he noticed a sow making a terrible noise. Her piglets had gotten into a pond and were in danger of drowning. Lincoln called the coach to a halt, jumped out, ran back, and lifted the little pigs to safety. Upon his return, his companion remarked, “Now, Abe, where does selfishness come in on this little episode?” “Why, bless your soul, Ed,” Lincoln answered, “that was the very essence of selfishness. I should have no peace of mind all day had I gone and left that suffering old sow worrying over those pigs.”

[Cited from the textbook Social Psychology by David Myers; thanks to Jose Clemente Vivanco for imparting.]