Saturday, July 01, 2006

We must have enough before we have to spare

Dr. Johnson held that early debt is ruin. His words on the subject are weighty and worthy of being held in remembrance. ‘Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity. Poverty takes away so many means of doing good, and produces so much inability to resist evil, both natural and moral, that it is by all virtuous means to be avoided…. Let it be your first care, then, not to be in any man’s debt. Resolve not to be poor; whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult. Economy is not only the basis of quiet, but of beneficence. No man can help others that lacks help himself; we must have enough before we have to spare.’

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