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Friday's Journal
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The link to this page is:
http://www.thepastwhispers.com/First_Essential.html
Photo Credits:  Kepguru, Pixabay, Unsplash
The First Essential
Since I'm creating this page a few days before the U.S. 2018 midterm elections,
I thought it might be nice to hear from the very first president, so the quotes
that follow (with one exception, which is noted) are from George Washington.
A few are from a book he once copied out by hand, "110 Rules of Civility
and Decent Behavior."  (A little more civility in our current political
situation would not go unappreciated!)
The title of the page comes from this quote by President Washington:
"Whatever the goal, good moral character is the first essential."
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your reputation.
There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than
the promotion of science and literature.  Knowledge is the
surest basis of public happiness.
Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
Let me now warn you against the baneful effects of the spirit of party. The common
and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the duty of a
wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves to distract the public councils
and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded
jealousies and false alarms; it kindles the animosity of one part
y against another.
In governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.
I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
Speak not injurious words, neither in jest, nor earnest; scoff
at no one.  Let your conversation be without malice.
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it has
changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put
forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times.
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.
Cultivate peace and harmony with all.
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.
Be not apt to relate news if you know not the truth thereof.
Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any.
No consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and
discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious.
I always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the
virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.
Happily, the government of the United States gives no
sanction to bigotry and no assistance to persecution.
Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone.
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.
Superfluous compliments are to be avoided,
yet where due, they are not to be neglected.
The best and only safe road to honor and dignity is justice.
Speak not when you should hold your peace.
Every action done in company, ought to be with some
sign of respect to those that are present.
Think before you speak.
Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains to bring it to light.