The Ten Cannots

The “Ten Cannots” was written by Rev. William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962), originally published in 1916 as a pamphlet attributed to Rev. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister and political conservative.

Sometime after Boetcker’s pamphlet was published, his sayings were attributed to Lincoln.

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

Simpler guiding words cannot be more readily found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._H._Boetcker

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