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Jefferson: Code of Conduct Cheat Sheet by

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Thomas Jefferson (1746-­1826)

Thomas Jefferson -- author of the Declar­ation of Indepe­ndence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia -- voiced the aspira­tions of a new America as no other individual of his era. As public official, historian, philos­opher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.

Code of Ethic

1. Never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day.
2. Never trouble another with what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.
5. Take care of your cents: Dollars will take care of themse­lves.
6. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
7. We never repent of having eat too little.
8. Nothing is troubl­esome that one does willingly.
9. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
10. Take things always by their smooth handle.
11. Think as you please, and so let others, and you will have no disputes.
12. When angry, count 10. before you speak; if very angry, 100.


"­Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

“Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the Sun.”

“Above all things, lose no occasion of exercising your dispos­itions to be grateful, to be generous, to be charit­able, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly and courag­eous.”

"­Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitu­de."­

"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you."

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good consci­ence, good health, occupa­tion, and freedom in all just pursui­ts."­

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destru­ction, is the first and only object of good govern­men­t."

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reason­able; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppres­sio­n."

"­Rig­htful liberty is unobst­ructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the indivi­dua­l."

"­Exp­erience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operat­ions, perverted it into tyrann­y."

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philos­ophy, as cause for withdr­awing from a friend."

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