Jefferson’s 10 Rules (and Mine for 2012)


As we get ready to begin 2012, I came across “Jefferson’s 10 Rules”.  I bought this at the Smithsonian on a trip a year or so ago and promptly forgot about it. Now it sits where I can read it every day.

  1. 1.  Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. (The hardest one for me)
  2. 2.  Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. (Tell that to my kids)
  3. Never spend money before you have earned it.
  4. Never buy what you don’t want because it is cheap. (Obviously this was before Wal-mart)
  5. Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  6. We seldom repent of having eaten too little. (Unless it was too little cake…)
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. How much pain the evils cost us that never happened.
  9. Take things always by the smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, count a hundred. (If I am really angry, I give myself up to 24 hours before responding)

These rules really speak to me about the timelessness of basic values and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.  They inspire me every day when I sit down in front of my computer and they will guide me through 2012.


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  1. These are so true and you are correct in how timeless it is. Our Founding Father’s forward and future insight was amazing; evidenced by the documents that still hold true today such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights.