Th e S to r y o f N i c h o l a s Wi n to n a n d Th e I m p o r t a n ce o f C h a ra c te r
Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-117117 DLC
Listen to omas Jefferson’s words of wisdom on this issue of character:
Give up money, give up fame, give up sci- ence, give up the earth itself and all it contains, rather than do an immoral act. And never sup- pose, that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.
Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises; being assured that they will gain strength by exer- cise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death. If ever you find yourself environed with difficulties and perplex- ing circumstances, out of which you are at a loss how to extricate yourself, do what is right, and be assured that that will extricate you the best out of the worst situations. ough you cannot see, when you take one step, what will be the next, yet follow truth, justice, and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth, in the easiest manner possible. e knot which you thought a Gordian one, will untie itself before
you. Nothing is so mistaken as the supposition that a person is to extricate himself from a dif- ficulty, by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimula- tion, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice.
is increases the difficulties ten fold; and those
who pursue these methods, get themselves so involved at length, that they can turn no way but their infamy becomes more exposed.
What those Founders were getting at is the notion that liberty is built upon the ability of a society to govern itself, without government intervention. is ability to self-govern is itself built upon — you guessed it — individual character.
Here’s a name you may not have heard of: Fanny Crosby. Fanny Crosby holds the record for having written more hymns than any other human being
at least 8,000 — including the popular “Blessed As-
surance.” She died in 1915 at the age of 95. She was the first woman in our history to address the United States Congress. She personally met or knew every president of the United States from John Quincy Ad- ams to Woodrow Wilson, maybe more than any other single person in our country’s history, alive or dead. And guess what? She never in her 95 years had any recollection of ever having seen a thing. She was blind from the age of six months. When she addressed Congress, she spoke of how important it was for a person’s character to shine so it could overcome any and all handicaps and obstacles. Many who knew her regarded her as a saint of enormous inspiration.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy •