Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Wisdom of William Penn

With the Republican Presidential nomination looking more certain, it seemed like another "Wisdom" article is in order. This article is part of series that consists of thoughtful quotes from leaders of our country in the past. You'll recognize most of the names, but in many cases not the quotes. Take some time to think about them and what they mean. How can you apply them in your chapter and take control of you organization?

Today, I'm going a bit askew - instead of a national founding father, I'm going with a more localized person. We all know that Pennsylvania is named after William Penn, but how many have really read his thoughts and wisdom?

The Wisdom of William Penn
  • "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
  • "Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it."
  • "A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we do evil, that good may come of it...To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics as well as morals." (From Some Fruits of Solitude)
  • "Force may make hypocrites, but it can make no converts." (Letter to Lord Arlington, while imprisoned in the Tower)
  • "The humble, meek, merciful, just, pious and devout souls everywhere are of one religion and when death has taken off the mask, they will know one another, though the diverse liveries they wore here make them strangers."
  • "There is a zeal without knowledge, that is superstition. There is a zeal against knowledge, that is interest or faction; there is a zeal with knowledge, that is religion; and if you will view the countries of cruelty, you will find them superstitious rather than religious. Religion is gentle, it makes men better, more friendly, loving and patient than before."
  • "Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers. Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. Sexes make no Difference; since in Souls there is none..."
  • "Between a Man and his Wife nothing ought to rule but Love. Believe nothing against another but on good authority; and never report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to some other to conceal it."
  • "If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it."
  • "Friendship is the union of spirits, a marriage of hearts, and the bond thereof virtue"
  • "There can be no friendship when there is no freedom; Friendship loves the free air, and will not be fenced up in straight and narrow enclosures."
  • "Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly, for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood."
  • "Equivocation is half way to lying and lying the whole way to hell."
  • "Inquiry is human; blind obedience brutal. Truth never loses by the one but often suffers by the other."
  • "He that has more Knowledge than Judgment, is made for another Man's use more than his own."
  • "Fear and Gain are great Perverters of Mankind, and where either prevail, the Judgement [of God] is violated."
  • "No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown."

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