10 Cannots by William J. H. Boetcker

I just read something powerful from a pamphlet by William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962) and entitled The Ten Cannots. It was originally published in 1916 but I feel its message is very fitting to us today and especially now during the 2008 Presidential election cycle. Here are the “10 cannots”:

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

I wish all in government and those aspiring to positions in government would take these simple yet powerful concepts to heart. Voters would be wise to do the same.

Please note: The above quote is often wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

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