An Honest Heart - September 2013
Peter Carr was Thomas Jefferson’s nephew. Following the death of Peter’s father, Jefferson assumed responsibility for Peter’s education. Education was very important to Jefferson and he gave Peter a detailed list of books to study with the instructions, “reading everything in the original and not in translations.” There was something, however, Jefferson believed a student must value above all else.
“Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains, rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose, 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… If ever you find yourself environed with difficulties and perplexing 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. Though 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…
It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual… This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” -Thomas Jefferson
“An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second.” -Thomas Jefferson
“… how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Public, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of Children, and the moral Sense kept alive.” -Samuel Adams
James Still, JamesStill@RetraceOurSteps.com
“… nothing is of more importance for the public weal [strength], than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue.” -Benjamin Franklin