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Their Remarkable Death Teaches Us How to Live

On July 4th, 1826 — two great men lay on their deathbed.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

It was the 50th anniversary of the signing of that great document and both men were slowly sliding into the next life.

Iron Will + Divine Will = Success

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. — Thomas Jefferson

Despite being in immense pain, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson clung to life long enough to die on Independence Day.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. — Thomas Jefferson

But as much as they believed their willpower contributed to the creation of the United States they also believed they received divine assistance, which seems feasible given their poetic passing.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship > Pride

A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man. – John Adams

In the end they were the greatest friends just as they had been during the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Instead of being the ardent pursuer of science that some think him, I know he is indolent, and his soul is poisoned with ambition!

But as the founding generation slowly died out, they were encouraged by mutual friends to rekindle the ol’ flames of friendship.

Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. . . . Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. . . . We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. — Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address

Know How to Make an Exit

Do you know who you are? Do not ask: act! Action will delineate and define you — Thomas Jefferson

They had a flare for the dramatic. They understood their role in history and wanted to end the final chapter of their life in a way that was worthy of the life they lived.



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