Perhaps the time has come to re-examine our thinking about values and valuables.

Is our country’s moral compass still pointing true north? Can conspicuous compassion temper conspicuous consumption? Does de Tocqueville’s doctrine of “self-interest rightly understood” have a place in our high-tech interdependent world economy?
History gives us many places and people where one can look for some both thought provoking commentary and down to earth common sense. Author Mark Twain for sure; possibly the infamous New York Yankee manager, Yogi Berra for some; the ancient Greek philosophers for solace.
Recently I was handed a list of “The Ten Cannots,” attributed to the 20th century religions leader, William J. H. Boetcker. They struck a chord with me, and so I want to share them with you.

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

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money

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 further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred

You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s (and women’s) initiative and independence

And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves
In our modern day world, many believe the strength of our future depends on the compatibility of and respect for diversity. Take time to think and reflect. Humankind is counting on each of us to create the world we want for the common good of all.

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