I found this little clip of paper among my father-in-law's things and I cannot say from where it came. I do love it so much that I carry it in my wallet as a prayer. It reminds me of the America that I so long for.
“Virtue is not advanced by written laws, but by the habits of everyday life; for the majority of men tend to assimilate the manners and morals amid which they have been reared. Furthermore, where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed; for it is in the attempt to build up dikes against the spread of crime that men in such a state feel constrained to multiply the laws. Those who are rightly governed, on the other hand, do not need to fill their porticoes with written statutes, but only to cherish justice in their souls; for it is not by legislation, but by morals that states are well directed, since men who are badly reared will venture to transgress even laws which are drawn up with minute exactness, whereas those who are well brought up will be willing to respect even a simple code."
My father-in-law now gone, before I had the blessing to meet him, was widely known as a man of unimpeachable character. He was a longtime business owner from an old Napa family and was known also for his good sense and sense of charity.
The mores pronounced herein, remind us of a time past -- but perhaps this can be a time to remember who we were and why we need more than ever to cling to our identity as a people of love, charity and justice. We are not herd animals to be lorded over.
The current abusers of power should take note .
Voters wake up. We are still in charge -- so long as we want to be.
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