The following â€œTen Cannotsâ€ are often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
- You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
- You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
- You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
- You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
- You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
- You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
- You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
- You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
- You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
- And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
William John Henry Boetcker (1873â€“1962), American religious leader and influential public speaker. From a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots. Originally published in 1916.