11 March 2007

Something to Remember

[NOTE: The following was written in 1991 and is reprinted here for no good reason.]

It seems that the age of great historical discoveries is not over. One Joe B. Cassel of Lindale Texas has discovered some words of Abraham Lincoln's that are unknown to scholars, historians, and Lincoln biographers. He found them in a drawer he had not looked in for ages.

He submitted them for examination to Ann Landers, the advice columnist, who apparently pronounced them authentic, as she published them in her column. They appear there as follows:

Something to Remember

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

It is odd that these words sound nothing like Lincoln, but hey--you can't argue with facts. Lincoln's name was on the thing, wasn't it? And it was found in a drawer, and at that a drawer that hadn't been looked in for years. What more proof could you want? Probably Lincoln left them there himself on a visit to Lindale Texas. It's even stranger that a certain Reverend William Boetcker apparently copyrighted this piece in 1916, but surely so eminent an authority as Ann Landers could not be mistaken. Nobody whose words reach millions every day would be so irresponsible as to rush into print without checking its authenticity very carefully.

Maybe it doesn't really matter who wrote the words; it might be argued that they are so wise and wonderful that they stand on their own. By a curious coincidence, I myself discovered some similar words in a drawer the other day, mixed in among my odd socks. This is a drawer I have not looked in for a very long time; in fact I never look in it if I can avoid it. The words seem to have been written by George Washington, the father of our country. Although it's a little hard to tell whether the first name is Geo. or Cleo, I think we will all agree that whoever wrote them, they are wise and wonderful.

Something to Remember

You cannot promote the truth by spreading a lie.
You cannot lengthen the grass by mowing the lawn.
You cannot raise revenues by cutting taxes.
You cannot hit the broad side of a barn with a SCUD missile.
You cannot find something out by being taken in.
You cannot collect social security until you have turned 65.
You cannot make a bad check good by signing another man's name to it.
You cannot win a land war in Asia without overwhelming air superiority.
You cannot get a driver's license without three pieces of ID, at least one of which has your picture on it.
You cannot get something really stupid published, unless you attribute it to somebody really famous.
George (or maybe Cleo) Washington

1 comment:

Arthur_Vandelay said...

(Channeling an early episode of Seinfeld) "Ann Landers SUCKS!!"

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