George Washington Carver: 8 Rules To Live By


George Washington Carver

8 Rules To Live By

I’ll be honest: before doing a bit of research, the only thing I knew about George Washington Carver was that he found lots of uses for peanuts.
George Washington Carver
Turns out he was an amazing man. Not only a brilliant, inquisitive, scientific mind, but a strong will and sense of purpose to match.

One of the unexpected treasures I discovered were from a thank you letter he’d written to his students. Usually presented as an excerpt of “8 Cardinal Virtues” as follows:

  • Be clean both inside and out.
  • Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
  • Lose, if need be, without squealing.
  • Win without bragging.
  • Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
  • Be too brave to lie.
  • Be too generous to cheat.
  • Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

Good rules to live by, and it will serve me well to remember them.

If you’d like to discover more, the National Parks Service has an excellent PDF about George Washington Carver, including the full original text of the letter (on page 24) – available here:
Discovering George Washington Carver — A Man of Character

… and of course there’s a pretty good Wikipedia entry here:
Wikipedia: George Washington Carver

One more parting quote that speaks to me as an artist:

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
— George Washington Carver


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at:



Monumental Independence


Monumental Independence

On this, Independence Day for the USA, I’ve decided to post some quotes from famous monuments as an inspiration for the future…

On the plaque at The Statue of Liberty:

New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Three of the many quotes from The FDR Memorial:

“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”
October 2, 1932

“Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.”
January 24, 1935

“Among American citizens, there should be no forgotten men and no forgotten races.”
October 26, 1936

From the southeast portico of The Thomas Jefferson Memorial:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
-Excerpted from a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816.

A few quotes from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial:

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
(December 24, 1967, Atlanta, Georgia)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
(April 16, 1963, Birmingham, Alabama)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
(February 25, 1967, Los Angeles, California)

“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”
(April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, Manhattan, New York)


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at:



Foolish Fools and the Fools Who Fool Them



Happy April Fool’s Day!

This week’s post is a pithy collection of a dozen quotes about fools.

If you have a favorite that you don’t see here, please add it in the comments…

Joe Kerr


Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
— William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night


Who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope


The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
— Samuel Butler, Notebooks


If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
— W. C. Fields


They that are fated to be fools, have one consolation, that they are fated also to be ignorant of it.
— Norman MacDonald, Maxims and Moral Reflections


A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
— Douglas Adams


Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.
— Jewish Proverb


Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
— Anon. (or maybe Plato ;-))


A fool follows his own wisdom and makes his own mistakes but a Wise man learns from the mistakes of fools.
— Luelle Davis


Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
— Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain or ?!?!?
(click here for more info)


You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool Mom. She’s pretty nice and she’s pretty smart. If you listen to Mom you won’t go far wrong.
— Captain Penny (click here for more info)


Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.
— George Bernard Shaw



Your Moron-Duh Rights


You have the right to be stupid.

You have the right to believe that wishing is as good, or better than, doing.

You have the right to be willfully ignorant when exposed to factual evidence that contradicts your long-held notions.

… and I have the right to ignore you.

Rights go hand-in-hand with Responsibilities.

Freedom has consequences.

Change your perception, and your view of the world will change.

The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
– William James