Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Ten Cannots

There are certain laws, or principles, that are not laws in the sense that they’ve been passed by a legislative body, but rather that they are laws of nature, common sense, and ‘how else could it be?’

William John Henry Boetcker (1873–1962) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States as a young man. He became an ordained minister soon after his arrival in America and became known for his eloquent and inspiring speaking style and words. Many consider him to be the forerunner for today’s motivational speakers and coaches.

In 1916 he published a pamphlet titled The Ten Cannots. I wish I had about a thousand of these to pass out today. I wish public schools would teach these. They are frequently attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but in reality, they are Rev. Boetcker’s words, and I reprint them here.
  • 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.
Hat tip: The Conservative Pup


  1. laws are good if they are given teeth

  2. And...

    you cannot spit into the wind

    trust your government


    thought I could think of more. But it's too early, and I've only had one cup of coffee. Haha.

    Have a great day!

  3. You probably won't find these words spoken in many venues today, not even within the wall of the church.

  4. Wisdom is timeless and, unfortunately, quite often is unrecognized by the fool.

  5. "How else could it be?" Every guvmint official should be required to follow these simple truths, but they would first have to have common sense.

    Love this! Big hugs...

  6. These jokers seem to follow the mathematical principle of multiplication of double negatives is positive!
    have a great day!

  7. I wonder if I can figure out how to forward this post to the White House. I think their list of "cannots" looks a whole lot different!

  8. This definitely needs to be sent to Capital Hill so that those fools in Washington can get some common sense!

  9. Interesting. His homeland was fighting for it's life when he wrote this. I wonder how much, if any, WWI played in these "cannots."

  10. Those are interesting cannots. Some of them I agree with and some I don't understand. But that is just me. Sure makes you think and my brain has trouble thinking. Have a great day Sandee.

  11. I note that he didn't encourage class hatred. I wonder which classes he had in mind?
    He mentioned several. :)

  12. I can think of an awful lot of people who need to read this.

  13. Excellant post today! I think that the government has turned deaf ears to us.

    Just remember to vote. It will send a powerful message next fall.

    Big Hugs back to you.

  14. Great post! I love the comments before me as well! Happy Tuesday!!


  15. It's a shame that our government doesn't live by these. For that matter it's a shame that half the people or maybe more, don't live by these. Loved the post.

  16. All very wise words. It's a pity that many won't read them.

  17. I'm sorry to use your comments for this, but you're not receiving my emails. Can you send me your home address so I can send you the Magnabeetle. Also let me know which one you would like :)

  18. This is scary but this man is right on. You wouldn't believe how many people get to the to by putting everyone down. Thanks for sharing, that was inspirational. Anna :)

  19. Never leave Sandee's blog without leaving a few hugs ... (( smile ))

  20. Great post. Too bad more people don't read these.


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