Epigrams to Live By from Waite Phillips

A few sayings from one of my role models…

Welcome back. Until the day he died in 1964 Waite Phillips carried a small booklet tucked away in his jacket pocket everywhere he went and he opened it often. Was it some kind of financial statement? After all, for most of his life Waite Phillips was one of the richest men in America. You might guess it was a report from one of the many companies he owned or perhaps a letter from his loving wife Genevieve that he was reading. Well friends these would be good guesses but the truth is that little booklet contained a couple hundred epigrams, some he had written himself and some which were written by other people whom he may have liked or admired.
Because we just celebrated Independence Day over the past few weeks I have been writing about Americans who all had their own driving force to succeed which led them to move mountains in their fields, becoming leaders not only in business but also as examples to their fellow men and women. This week I may just be bringing you the secret to Waite Phillips’ great success.
According to my Webster’s dictionary an epigram is a saying or remark that expresses an idea in a clever or amusing way. According to his son Elliot “Chope” Phillips his dad read daily out of that little book which he said contained good rules for a successful and useful life. These are just a few of his favorite sayings:

Real philanthropy consists of helping others, outside of our own family circle, from whom no thanks is expected or required. Waite Phillips

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to be indifferent to them-that’s the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

No one should boast of being honest, dependable, courteous and considerate for these are fundamental qualities essential to good character that everyone should develop and use. Waite Phillips

Often, we allow ourselves to be upset by things we should forget. Perhaps some man we helped has proved ungrateful, some person we believed to be a friend has spoken ill of us, some reward we thought we deserved has been denied us. We feel some disappointments strongly but isn’t that absurd? Here we are on this earth with only a few more decades to live and we lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that in a year’s time will be forgotten by us and by everybody. Let us devote our lives to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings. Life is too short to be over sensitive. Andre Maurois

To become competent in governing we must first learn to govern ourselves. Waite Phillips

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot keep out of financial trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away initiative and independence. Abraham Lincoln

Of course, there are many more epigrams in Wade’s book but unfortunately mine didn’t make it.

The only way to slow down time is to get a job you don’t like. Dale Lewis

If you have an epigram you especially like I’d love to read it. You can email it to me at buffalodale @netzero.com.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….

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