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EDITORIAL: Wisdom Of Americans

Thanks to the internet and the ever expanding technologies available to us today, it is grows increasingly easy to disseminate information. Likewise it is ever simpler to research people, places and events going on in places near and far. As our world shrinks and we learn of foreign histories, cultures, philosophies and events on a global scale, we think it's important to remember the wisdom that is, and has been born in the U. S. A.

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody." Surely such a quote is attributed to one of today's chic philosophies, right? These words are in fact, from the venerable Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack. So succinct is the quote and yet it speaks volumes of the nature of man.

"I would rather be exposed to the in- conveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

A wise person will learn from many sources, a powerful person can see through blind emotions, a rich person is one who is not wanting. Though these three great ideals are seemingly impossible to achieve they are in fact great pillars by which we each should strive to live.

It's interesting how much foresight the United States of America's founders had. Or rather, it is perhaps more interesting or discouraging the way words can echo through the ages as history repeats. With the strife and security questions the free world faces today, another quote from Poor Richard's Almanack, "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power," holds renewed meaning.

Echoing such wisdom was Thomas Jefferson, who in a letter to Archibald Stuart in 1791 wrote, "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." In both cases, they suggest a point of attaining and maintaining liberty over power or control.

These two monoliths of political thinkers are well known throughout the free world. They lived in the same time, and worked together to found the American nation. Yet they are not the only great thinkers born of America, and certainly not all of our philosophies come from the birth of Democracy or are even involved in politics. Beyond Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson, ranging farther than John Steinbeck, J.D. Salinger or Nathaniel Hawthorne there lie others. Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Malcolm X, Mark Twain- how many can we think of and yet still know there are countless others with incredible insight and perception?

In Abraham Lincoln's words, "I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday," and if we are taking the time to research and educate ourselves, we should bear in mind the wisdom of those before us. So while the world has become smaller and easier to reach and learn about, in our quest for knowledge and information lets not forget those great minds who live right here in our "back yard."

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A Dozen Steve Wrightisms



There was a power outage at a department store yesterday. Twenty people were trapped on the escalators.
Steven Wright

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
Steven Wright

Tinsel is really snakes' mirrors.
Steven Wright

What's another word for Thesaurus?
Steven Wright

When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.
Steven Wright

When I was a kid, I went to the store and asked the guy, Do you have any toy train schedules?
Steven Wright

When I was a little kid we had a sand box. It was a quicksand box. I was an only child... eventually.
Steven Wright

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, "Well, what do you need?"
Steven Wright

When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, "Did you sleep good?" I said "No, I made a few mistakes."
Steven Wright

Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff.
Steven Wright

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything.
Steven Wright

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
Steven Wright

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