JEFFERSON ON LEADERSHIP
> Do you > have any information regarding specific Jefferson quotes on leadership, > scholarship, etc... There is quite a bit. It would be helpful to know to what audience the quotes would be directed. For example, on my Jefferson quotes website, the chapter on "Duties of the Executive" has quotes related to Presidential leadership, such as: Leadership for Reform "I am sensible how far I should fall short of effecting all the reformation which reason would suggest and experience approve were I free to do whatever I thought best; but when we reflect how difficult it is to move or inflect the great machine of society, how impossible to advance the notions of a whole people suddenly to ideal right, we see the wisdom of Solon's remark that no more good must be attempted than the nation can bear, and that all will be chiefly to reform the waste of public money and thus drive away the vultures who prey upon it and improve some little upon old routines. Some new fences for securing constitutional rights may, with the aid of a good Legislature, perhaps be attainable." --Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1801. Chapter 52, "Duties of Citizens," has some quotes related to public service, such as: Public Service "Some men are born for the public. Nature by fitting them for the service of the human race on a broad scale has stamped with the evidences of her destination and their duty." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1803. Chapter 38, "Educating the People," has many quotes related to the need for education in citizens and its importance for the nation. I suspect, however, that you may have something more specific in mind, perhaps something more related to students in an educational institution. If you would care to return a note that would describe more specificially how you wished to use the quotes, I think I might be able to suggest some quotes that would be more appropriate to your need. > >Thanks for the quick response. Yes, you are correct. I am currently > >looking for a quote regarding leadership, and quite specifically, the role > >of leadership in regards to service to others. I'm writing an essay for > >graduate school ... and I'm trying > >to tie together Jefferson's ideal of personalleadership with my own > >ideals. I envision myself as a leader on the cutting edge in the > >educational field, and I'm just trying to make a connection with > >Jefferson's vision. I hope the list appended to the end will be of help. Jefferson seemed to approach the idea of service to others from the point of view of our duty to our fellow human beings. Scholarship focused on a pursuit of truth. Somehow, I fear the quotes below are not fully on target, but I can't seem to get any closer. Perhaps you will find one or two that you can use. It was an interesting question. If I can come up with something better, I'll get back in touch. "Nature [has] implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct, in short, which prompts us irresistibly to feel and to succor their distresses." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. "I believe... that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1816. "It is highly interesting to our country, and it is the duty of its functionaries, to provide that every citizen in it should receive an education proportioned to the condition and pursuits of his life." -- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1814. "Our duty is... to act upon things as they are and to make a reasonable provision for whatever they may be." --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. "Every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis Gilmer, 1816. "Truth advances and error recedes step by step only; and to do our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. "I fear not that any motives of interest may lead me astray; I am sensible of no passion which could seduce me knowingly from the path of justice; but the weakness of human nature and the limits of my own understanding will produce errors of judgment sometimes injurious to [the nation's] interests." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural, 1805. "There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Rutledge, 1796. "The first object of human association [is] the full improvement of their condition." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Protest, 1825. "I acknowledge that such a debt [of service to my fellow-citizens] exists, that a tour of duty in whatever line he can be most useful to his country, is due from every individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1793. "If ever you find yourself environed with difficulties and perplexing circumstances out of which you are at a loss how to extricate yourself, do what is right, and be assured that that will extricate you the best out of the worst situations. Though you cannot see when you take one step what will be the next, yet follow truth, justice and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth in the easiest manner possible. The knot which you thought a Gordian one will untie itself before you. Nothing is so mistaken as the supposition that a person is to extricate himself from a difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. This increases the difficulties tenfold; and those who pursue these methods get themselves so involved at length that they can turn no way but their infamy becomes more exposed." --Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. Scholarship "I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, 1820.
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