I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It is the perfect moment to give thanks for the incredible possibilities the world offers us. For myself, it is a time to focus on appreciating the good things life in this country affords me and to re -commit to improving the life of those less lucky. Thanksgiving is also the time I assess and consider what I need to focus on for the coming year.
I thought I would offer Thomas Jefferson’s personal ten commandments. They are as relevant now as they were when written in 1825. I remind myself that Jefferson’s suggestions are for each of us to personally pursue. While it is easy to see in others their failings, to focus on our own improvement is truly the most effective way to create positive societal change.
Jefferson’s “A Decalogue of Canons”:
1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend 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 has never happened.
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
These ten rules where written to a boy that had been named after Thomas Jefferson in a letter to aid the youngster in living a good life. As we give thanks we might consider how we can make our world a better place by observing these same rules written almost 200 years ago.
This list was taken from a book written by Clay Jenkinson called, “Becoming Jefferson’s People: Re-inventing the American Republic in the Twenty-first Century”. It is available at our local library and is a highly entertaining and valuable read.
Happy Thanksgiving. Remember, both John F. Kennedy and John Lennon were right!
Mayor, the City of Salida