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Thoughts While Thinking - August 2009

Recently I have been thinking a lot about what's going on in Washington.  Just seems to me that we are getting a lot more government than we can afford.  Sort of running up a lot more debt on our national credit card than we can pay for.  And I remembered writing about it years ago, so I dusted off the old ring binder and found a couple of interesting things that I wrote in 1964 when my "THOUGHTS" were being published monthly in Austin Magazine.  To tell the truth, I swiped this from Abraham Lincoln.  It goes like this:

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  *You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  *You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  *You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.  *You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  *You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.  *You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.  *You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

I don't think that I need to elaborate any on that.  But I ran across another thought that I had written the same year that had to do with each of our personal responsibilities:  (I wasn't too far from being country then.)

"I believe all of us could learn a real lesson from a good farmer.  He knows that everything that is taken out of the soil has to be replaced, or his land will yield diminishing returns.  So crop rotation, contour farming, fertilization, cover crops, all became a part of his 'giving back'.  A farmer's relationship with the soil is a very direct one, and they understand each other.  In cities, the relationship isn't quite this direct or simple, but it is certainly there.  You just can't keep taking and never put back.

"Somehow, I don't believe a person can really be happy if they consistently take more out of their community than they put back into it.  Nature just isn't set up that way.  No doubt this fact was recognized by the man who said, 'What you do for yourself dies with you, but what you do for others lives forever'."

That must have been the same guy who said, "You can never find happiness by looking for it.  You can only find happiness by giving it to someone else".

Enough "THOUGHTS" for August.  Perhaps next time I need to do a little more "THINKING".