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A “Decalogue Of Canons” Written By Thomas Jefferson In 1825 Still Practical Today

Photo by flickr user DonkeyHotey

The Library of Congress released a transcript written by Thomas Jefferson in 1825, the year before his death, in which he provides 10 useful life lessons. It’s amazing how each one can, and should, still be applied today.

Apparently, right before Jefferson’s death he was approached by a man seeking advice for his son, who was named after the former President and Founding Father. The man wanted some words of wisdom to pass along to his young son. Jefferson obliged with a handwritten letter, at the end of that letter was 10 wise rules to always remember. He titled it, “A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life”. Here they are, do you think all of them still ring true today?

  1. Never put off till tomorrow 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.

See the transcript here.


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