Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Quotation for Today

Benjamin Franklin was a master of the adage. Today's quotation is a perfectly concise expression of the different behaviors that are appropriate to the different kinds of relationship we have. Call it a lesson in ethical behavior, one that also makes clear the importance of how to be close to some, closer to others, and closest to few.

Franklin's advice: "Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none."

Compare it to the words of another prominent ethicist, George Washington, who said: "Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

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