Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Conversations: 10 Positive Commandments

I am a collector of old books. I do not collect them for their monetary value, but for the value they contain between the covers. Before she passed away, my grandmother gave me a box of books she said she no longer needed. I was filled with gratitude for the books because they were mostly from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. My grandmother had also been a teacher. Among the books in the box was a 1922 edition of A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens, an old Bagster's & Sons Bible with concordance from about 1896 (uses words like unicorn, dragons, satyrs etc very interesting), and Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook.

I am not, and never have been a transcendentalist, but it was all the rage at the turn of the century, especially in literary works. Elbert Hubbard was no exception to the rule, as set by the likes of Emerson and Thoreau. Elbert Hubbard was born in 1856 and died tragically with his wife, Alice, on the Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine in 1915.

As I was packing more boxes today, to be moved in the coming week, I came across a sheet of paper on which I had copied Elbert Hubbard's Ten Positive Commandments, from his book.

Ten Positive Commandments

1. Thou shalt think well of thyself and well of thy neighbor.
2. Thou shalt add to the health, wealth and happiness of the world.
3. Thou shalt be on good terms with sunshine, fresh air and water.
4. Thou shalt get eight hours of sleep a day.
5. Thou shalt eat moderately, and exercise every day in the open air.
6. Thou shalt love the memory of thy mother, and be true to the friends that have done so much for thee.
7. Thou shalt recognize the Divinity in all men.
8. Thou shalt remember the week-day and keep it holy.
9. Thou shalt remember that thee can only help thine by helping other people, and that to injure another is to injure thyself, and that to love and benefit others is to live long and well.
10. Thou shalt love the stars, the ocean, the forest, and reverence all living things, recognizing that the source of life is one.
 Although they are not THE Ten Commandments, they seem to be some pretty good rules to live by in addition to the original ten.

42 days missing.