‘Ten Cannots’ and ‘Seven National Crimes’?
Unlike so many ministers today, Boetcker believed that it was important to engage the culture, not only with action, but with memorable rhetoric. Here are his The Ten Cannots:
- 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.
In addition to The Ten Cannots, Boetcker developed a list entitled Seven National Crimes, possibly patterned after the Seven Deadly Sins, that if committed would inevitably lead to the end of everything the United States was built to be:
- I don’t think.
- I don’t know.
- I don’t care.
- I’m too busy.
- I leave well enough alone.
- I have no time to read and find out.
- I am not interested.
“Never mind what others do,” Boetcker said. “Do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.”
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