Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rules: if they come from Thomas Jefferson, that's OK


While on my last day of substitute teaching last week, I saw a sheet of “Thomas Jefferson’s Top 10 Rules for living the Good Life.” Here is a reference.

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, VA) offers a gift version of this, framed, for sale at this link.

The rule that catches my eye is #5, “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold,” and coordinated with #8, “Don’t let the evils which have never happened cost you pain.” Proverbs they are.

Of course, Bob Parsons has his “16 Rules” here: including “never expect life to be fair.” That is one of Donald Trump’s rules.

But the funniest is the “1872 Rules for Teachers” (20 years or so after James A. Garfield was a teacher even as a teenager). I like the line about bringing a “scuttle of coal” and to “whittle nibs” of pens. Men teachers could court once a week (twice a week if they attended church regularly).

Here's a good proverb, dating to a co-worker from 1972: "Verbosity promulgates egregious epigramitization." Some more aphorisms are here.

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