Principles Of Our Founding Fathers
Hello, I’m Jerry Stewart. If you’ve heard many of my programs, you know I talk a lot about our founding fathers, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and what they stood for. But just what exactly did they stand for? Well, regarding character George Washington said,
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
Think about it. George Washington so impressed everyone that he was eventually given the title “Father of our Nation”, and he still believed his greatest single accomplishment was to be seen as an honest man. And regarding reputation, he said,
“Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Regarding attitude. Thomas Jefferson had some ideas which may sound familiar, he said,
“Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today; never trouble another with what you can do yourself; never spend your money before you have it; never buy what you do not want even if it’s cheap; take things always by their smooth handle.” And here’s a good one, “When you’re angry, counted to 10 before you speak, and if you’re very angry count to 100.”
I wonder if that worked for him.
Jefferson also had something to say about politics and high position. He said, Whenever a man casts a longing eye on offices, or rottenness begins in his conduct.”
Benjamin Franklin also had a note to add about thinking too highly of yourself. He said,
“He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.” And how about this one? “Talk to a man about himself, and he will listen for hours.” And what did Benjamin Franklin have to say about hard work and responsibility? He said, “A person who is good for excuses is good for little else.” What does that mean? Simply stated, Franklin believed that when we make excuses, we are usually trying to place the blame on someone or something else. And if we can pass the blame, well, then we have no responsibility for what we did or didn’t do. Franklin believed that excuses should be replaced by simple responsibility.
Here’s one quote I like about hard work and responsibility, Author unknown. It says, “The man who was waiting for something to turn up my do well to start with his own short sleeves.”
So let’s see – our Founding Fathers believed that we should be honest, responsible, not thinking too highly of ourselves. Hardworking, punctual, kind, and thoughtful, slow to anger and God fearing. I’d say that just about covers it all, doesn’t it? You might be saying, “We need to write these down and put them in the schools for our kids to read and learn.” They were in the schools, but they were taken out! They were called the Ten Commandments.
Folks, our Founding Fathers have left us with a heritage of great virtue and ideals to live by. It is now our responsibility to keep these values going. Why? To save our America!