You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do themselves.

These words of wisdom are often falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln. However, a Presbyterian clergyman, The Rev. William J. H. Boetcker wrote them in 1916. Obviously, even as things change, the more some things stay the same, at least among the human race. Otherwise, The Rev. Boetcker wouldn’t have composed this still timely warning . Unfortunately, the boggle in Washington D.C., i.e.  the federal government’s incompetence and outright evil acts have never been more outrageous than they are today if you apply the above words to our country’s economic, moral, and spiritual situation. We, the people, are overwhelmed by the enacting of every single one of the ” cannots” listed above that torment the souls of our failing nation.

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August 2, 2013

Henry James, 1843-1916  American Novelist      Live all you can: it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t matter what you do in particular, so long as you have had your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?

J. C. Penney, 1875-1971  American Retailing Magnate     I’m grateful for all my problems. As each of them was overcome I became stronger and more able to meet those yet to come. I grew on my difficulties.

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955  German-born American Physicist        Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Og Mandino, b. 1923  American Author      Treasure the love that you receive above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.

Alexander Hamilton, 1755-1804  American Statesman       Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this: when I have a subject in mind, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it…the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.

Alfred Adler, 1870-1937  Austrian Psychiatrist      We can be cured of depression in only fourteen days if every day we will try to think of how we can be helpful to others.

Martin Luther King, Jr.  1929-1968  American Civil Rights Leader and Minister      Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude.

Gerald W. Johnson  Author of “This American People”     Grandma Moses’ Medicine–“Then Anna was born so I had four babies to care for. Be we got along very nice till the children got the scarlet fever, that was a hard year but it passed on like all the rest.”–Grandma Moses, in My Life’s History  These two sentences constitute Grandma Moses’ complete and unabridged account of one of her ninety-two years. Its brevity, I believe, goes far to explain why Grandma has lived into her tenth decade. She is not inarticulate. She can describe in loving and minute detail, after sixty years, her wedding dress, a Thanksgiving dinner, a practical joke she and another girl played; but about a hard year she found nothing worth remembering except that “it passed on like all the rest.” Nobody can explain genius, so exactly what it is the makes Grandma Moses a magnificent painter no man can tell. But if you want to know why she has remained alert, vigorous, radiantly alive into her nineties, mull over the above bit of philosophy. Beauty, love, laughter and delight are imperishable memories, but all that is important about hardship is that it passes. How right she is! If we could only remember this truth in the hard years, how many spiritual scars and deformities we should escape, and how much more abundant would life be in the years that are given us!

Angelica  Angel of Answers       (during the bad times) Nothing in life will change until I do. To fully comprehend this statement, then to make those changes, that’s the only way to grow past the “woe is me” that resides within.