Honesty is the best policy … the wisdom and character of George Washington was essential to the birth of the United States of America.
Despite being touted as the Father of Our Country, is it possible George Washington is underrated?
When Henry Lee delivered his funeral oration in 1799, he said of him, he was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Washington through force of will, personality, diplomacy, and talent kept the union from disintegrating before it started. After winning the Revolutionary War, Washington headed straight for his plantation in Mount Vernon to retire from public life. When King George III heard this, he said that if Washington would actually do that he was the greatest man who ever lived. He didn’t. But it still seems to be the case that Washington really wasn’t interested in holding power, despite winning the presidency two terms.
His quotes underscore the degree to which our nation was built on the premise that liberty requires good citizens – and that good citizens are those who practice virtue and live with integrity.
Washington’s words are a nice personal reminder and challenge on how we should live!
While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable.
It is with pleasure I receive reproof, when reproof is due, because no person can be readier to accuse me, than I am to acknowledge an error, when I am guilty of one; nor more desirous of atoning for a crime, when I am sensible of having committed it.
I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit, and Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.
Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
A people … who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.
I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.
Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.
Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.