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”:
- You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
- You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
- You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
- You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
- You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
- You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
- You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
- You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
- You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
- 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.