What are the chances that two of the greatest figures of history would be born on the same day? I would leave that to the statisticians and only remark on the fact that in 1809 on this day, February 12th, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenvill, Kentuky in the United States, and Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in England.
Who would have predicted that those two babies — remember we all were babies at some point — would have an enormous impact on the world as they eventually did?
It’s been only 201 years since they were born but their accomplishments would influence humanity for untold millennia. No doubt billions would live and die without having any clue of their existence, and without the faintest appreciation of how their lives are better because of those two.
I recently came across something that Lincoln wrote in 1841:
We don’t usually think of great people as suffering personal pain and anguish. But they do because that’s part of the human condition. The context of that quote is this.
We should celebrate the fact that they walked the earth and be grateful that they did the work they did. Happy Birthday, Mr Lincoln and Mr Darwin. May your tribe increase.
Here’s my appreciation of Darwin and Lincoln on this day last year.