Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Three Wise Men

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue, February 25, 1825
1.  Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
2.  Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3.  Never spend your money before you have it.
4.  Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
5.  Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6.  We never repent of eating too little.
7.  Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8.  How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
9.  Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

Benjamin Franklin's Plan for Moral Perfection (slightly revised)
1.  Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
2.  Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself
3.  Order: Let all things have their places
4.  Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve
5.  Frugality: Waste nothing
6.  Industry: Lose no time
7.  Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit
8.  Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty
9.  Moderation: Avoid extremes
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation

George Washington's Rules of Civility (short version)
1.  Speak not when others speak
2.  Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present
3.  Use no reproachful language against anyone
4.  Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of anyone
5.  Play not the peacock
6.  Be not forward, but friendly and courteous
7.  Think before you speak
8.  Be not apt to relate news if you know not the truth thereof.
9.  Speak no evil of the absent, for it is unjust.
10. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

A Bit of Presidential Advice

John Quincy Adams wrote this list and sent it to his father, John Adams:

March 16, 1780 My Work for a Day,
Explain Cicero, Erasmus, Appendix
Learn greek Racines
Learn Greek Grammar

His father, the future president, criticized the youngster for his poor penmanship!  John Quincy was 12 at the time he wrote this list!!!  I guess it paid off because John Quincy was our 6th president.

Thomas Jefferson wrote this to his daughter Patsyon November 28, 1783.  
"With respect to the distribution of your time, the following is what I shall approve:
8 to 10, practice music
10 to 1. dance one day and draw another
1 to 2, draw on the day you dance, and write a letter next day
3 to 4, raed French
4 to 5, exercise yourself in music
5 till bed-time, read English, write, etc.

Her father, the future president, wrote this to Patsy when she was 10.

Don't think you are being hard on your kids if you shut the TV off and have them study.  It's good for them and good for your country.