a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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The Charter Of Common Sense

I have invited people in the past to write a post for this blog with great result. Each brought a unique point of view and sometimes certain poignancy to a topic that made each post well worth reading. I’ve invited a well-respected man to provide posthumously today’s post because I think what he said and wrote encapsulated the entire conversation in every area in which we are all participating.

It’s a very short post but then he was a very thoughtful writer who was able to say in only a few words what most of us struggle to say in many. Ronald Regan referred to these 10 points as ‘The American Charter’ but I think of them more as simply a Charter of Common Sense.

A 10 Point Charter Of Common Sense

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 help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. 

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. 

You cannot build character and courage by taking away [people’s] initiative and independence.

You cannot help [people] permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. H. Boetcker

I originally credited this post to Abraham Lincoln but have since learned that while it is often thought to have been written by him, it was in fact written by the Reverend William J. H. Boetcker. Regardless of who wrote it, what he wrote applies to all of the arguments about entitlement, fair taxation, government intervention and social engineering, self-reliance and employment in which we engaged these days.

Based on writings from so long ago, it would appear that we are not only on the wrong road today but have been for quite some time. Perhaps it is time to put aside the petty bickering in order to take a hard look at where we are and what we are doing to ourselves and to each other and then ask this simple question.
Is this really the society we intended to build?
I suspect that more of us will answer no to that question than will answer yes. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction and unhappiness around these days and perhaps it is time to stop blaming others automatically and start to look at how we, ourselves, contribute to that dissatisfaction.
Perhaps we could each start by accepting full responsibility for our own individual lives and end the belief that life owes us something. It does not. Life is simply life and each life is only as good as what is made of it by the person living it. 
Perhaps it is time to remember that.
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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  • Verna Charter

    We are made to enjoy the fruits of our labor – not the labor of others. In this regard, we are a backwards nation.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      I agree with you. There is no personal satisfaction or sense of accomplishment that comes from taking from others. Our self-respect comes from what we achieve for ourselves.