Eight cardinal virtues from G. W. Carver

In 1922, George Washington Carver penned a thank you note to one of his students who had given him a fountain pen as a Christmas present. In the note, Carver offered hope “that each of you will rise to the full height of your possibilities” and suggested these eight cardinal virtues to help them do just that.

I think they certainly bear repeating.

Mr. L. Robinson

I wish to express to each member of the Senior class my deep appreciation for the fountain pen you so thoughtfully gave me.

This gift is characterized by simplicity and thoughtfulness, which I hope each of you will make the slogan of your lives.

I hope that each of you will rise to the full height of your possibilities, which means the possession of these eight cardinal virtues which constitutes a lady or a gentleman.

1st. Be clean both inside and outside.

2nd. Who neither looks up to the rich or down on the poor.

3rd. Who loses, if needs be, without squealing.

4th. Who wins without bragging.

5th. Who is always considerate of women, children and old people.

6th. Who is too brave to lie.

7th. Who is too generous to cheat.

8th. Who takes his share of the world and lets other people have theirs.

May God help you to carry out these eight cardinal virtues and peace and prosperity be yours through life.

Lovingly yours,

G. W. Carver

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