This morning, when I picked up my copy of Outreach Connection (the weekly newspaper supporting the homeless and the unemployed in Toronto), the front page Notable Quotable left me a little puzzled.
Here’s the quote:
“We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”
— Thomas Jefferson
I’ve been scratching my head all day trying to figure out what it means. If you have any clues, please let me know.
In trying to find out, though, I did come across some very interesting things about the third president of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Here are just a few.
Fascinating Jefferson factoids:
● Thomas Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. [I also heard he invented Post-Its…]
● When President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
● Jefferson had a lisp and preferred writing to public speaking partly because of this.
● He affected a popular air by greeting White House guests in homespun attire like a robe and slippers. [So that’s who inspired Mr. Hefner!]
● Jefferson died on the fourth of July, 1826. [Spooky … or comforting, depending how you look at it.]
● In his will, he left his Monticello property to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. [A good deed doer from waaaaaay back!]
P.S. In honour of the back-to-school feel of September, I’ve tucked away the sunflower top pic and brought back the books. Hope you like them!