Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jefferson’s Advice for Good Living

                                                     *Miniature of Thomas Jefferson by John Trumbull. Image courtesy Monticello.org collections.

On February 21, 1825, Thomas Jefferson gave “Counsel to a Namesake.”  Written to Thomas Jefferson Smith, the letter noted A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life.  The following is an excerpt:

1.  Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.
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 having eaten 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.



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