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Good advice

22 Sep

The final paragraph of a letter from George Washington to his step-grandson George Washington Parke Custis, on the occasion of his going off to college.

Philadelphia, 28th November, 1796.

I would guard you, too, against imbibing hasty and unfavorable impressions of any one. Let your judgment always balance well before you decide; and even then, where there is no occasion for expressing an opinion, it is best to be silent, for there is nothing more certain than that it is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends. And besides, to speak evil of any one, unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation. For, as Shakespeare says “He that robs me of my good name enriches not himself, but renders me poor indeed,” or words to that effect. Keep in mind that scarcely any change would be agreeable to you at first from the sudden transition, and from never having been accustomed to shift or rough it. And, moreover, that if you meet with collegiate fare, it will be unmanly to complain.

The Online Libary of Liberty (scroll down to bottom of page to read the full letter this is taken from).

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Ethics

 

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One response to “Good advice

  1. Gail

    September 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    This is great advice and thank you for posting it. I copied it and plan on sharing it with my high school seniors. I’m struggling myself to overcome the effects of having things said about me online that were false and malicious.

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