A Bit of Wisdom from Thomas Paine on His Birthday

New York, NY…Thomas Paine February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809. Thomas Paine was born on this day in 1737 in Thetford, England. His most impactful work was the tract Common Sense. In many ways it codified the grievances the Colonies had with the Crown and many historians credit it as the match that lit the flame of the American Revolution. He was also controversial even in his own lifetime. The Thomas Paine that wrote Common Sense was universally loved and revered. The Thomas Paine that in later life seemed to let his fame go to his head a bit was at times almost a different person. As history looks back on all our lives we can only hope we are remembered for the positive and impactful times in our lives and not for the other times. With that a few Bits of Wisdom from Paine are below…

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best stage, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

“Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.”

“Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”