In what would be his penultimate performance, the villain of villains, the actor, and the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was carried against his will onto the front porch of a rural farmhouse for one final curtain call. Useless, Useless!
It was the last act of a 12-day manhunt. Booth had been shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett through the planks of the burning barn on owner Richard Garrett’s farm. The injury left Booth paralyzed. Useless, Useless!
The wound was eerily similar to the one Booth inflicted on President Lincoln. The once-proud orator was left barely able to speak. Useless, Useless!
As life was slipping from his body, Booth whispered, “my hands.” Next to Booth was Detective Luther Baker. Baker acknowledged the dying man’s request and raised Booth’s hands so the assassin could see them one final time. Useless, Useless!
As he looked at his hands, John Wilkes Booth’s last words were, “Useless, Useless!”*
Isn’t it tragic for a person who had gained critical acclaim with his acting abilities, would die as one of the most hated men in history? Critical acclaim had been replaced with critical disdain. Useless, Useless!
It doesn’t take a heinous act for a person to think they have squandered their life. Many people look back over their lives with regret. Regret for missed opportunities. Regret for unfulfilled dreams. Useless, Useless!
I find the following verse very comforting. It will give your life purpose without regrets. USEFUL, USEFUL!
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
Daily Doable: This verse bears repeating. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
*Research for this story came from the book, Manhunt (The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer) by James L. Swanson, Published by William Morrow, 2006
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