Tag Archives: Love

Want everyone to love you? Do this. (It might work.)

… it is a charming thing to be loved by every body: and the way to obtain it is,
[1] never to quarrel or be angry with any body,
[2] never to tell a story [lie],
[3] do all the kind things you can to your companions,
[4] give them every thing rather than to yourself,
[5] pity & help every thing you see in distress
[6] and learn your books and improve your minds.
this will make every body fond of you, and desirous of shewing it to you:
To Ann Cary Randolph, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, & Ellen Wayles Randolph, March 7, 1802

Note: I have completed blog posts from the 1st year of Jefferson’s 1st term, the 1st year of his 2nd term, and the 1st year of his retirement. This series begins in March 1802, the 2nd year of his 1st administration.

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders who want to be loved should do these things.
Jefferson wrote to his grandchildren, ages 11, 10 & 6, to encourage their best possible conduct. In this simple list, Papa (the children’s name for him)  told the young ones what behaviors would cause people to love them. The advice doesn’t apply to children, only.

“Thank you so much for your enormous contribution
to the success of our recent workshop ..”
Program Coordinator, The Smithsonian Associates, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Jefferson will contribute greatly to the success of your meeting!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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Who exactly is in charge here? Part 11 H (OR I love the pleasure and will take the pain.)

 [This is the 18th & final post in a series abstracted from Jefferson’s famous “My Head and My Heart” dialogue written to Maria Cosway. This is the end of Heart’s final reply.]

Heart: We are not immortal ourselves, my friend; how can we expect our enjoyments to be so? We have no rose without its thorn; no pleasure without alloy … True, this condition [Maria’s absence] is pressing cruelly on me at this moment. I feel more fit for death than life. But when I look back on the pleasures … they were worth the price I am paying … Hope is sweeter than despair ..

Know then, my friend (Head), that I have taken these good people into my bosom … that I love them, & will continue to love them through life: that if fortune should dispose them on one side the globe, & me on the other, my affections shall pervade its whole mass to reach them. Knowing then my determination, attempt not to disturb it …”
To Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Faithful leaders know “hope is sweeter than despair.”
Jefferson acknowledged that life brings both pleasure and pain, sometimes arising from the same event. If he enjoyed happiness, he was prepared to accept any sadness that might follow. It was part of life.

He concluded his internal dialogue by affirming undying love for his friends, even though he was suffering in their absence. No matter how far away they were, his affections would reach them. He instructed his Head not to bother him about it any longer.

With the Head & Heart dialogue over, he addressed Maria Cosway directly, promising shorter letters but inviting longer ones from her. Even if she wrote one “as long as the bible,” it would be “short to me.” He ended with this personal assessment, “As to myself my health is good, except my wrist which mends slowly, & my mind which mends not at all, but broods constantly over your departure.”

Jefferson and Cosway saw one another the following year, but the infatuation of their first meeting had faded. They corresponded throughout their lives. Cosway died in 1838, at the age of 78, a dozen years after Jefferson’s death.

Thomas Jefferson will bring pleasure and no pain to your audience!
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Who exactly is in charge here? Part 1

[This is the 1st interchange in Jefferson’s internal dialog between his head and his heart, in his anguish over Maria Cosway’s departure. He reported the entire dialog to her in this letter.]

Seated by my fireside, solitary & sad, the following dialogue took place between my Head & my Heart:

Head. Well, friend, you seem to be in a pretty trim [beaten down].

Heart. I am indeed the most wretched of all earthly beings. Overwhelmed with grief, every fibre of my frame distended beyond its natural powers to bear, I would willingly meet whatever catastrophe should leave me no more to feel or to fear.
Thomas Jefferson Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Effective leaders use the right mix of logic and emotion. Part 1
Jefferson met painters Richard and Maria Cosway in Paris, 1786. While Richard was despicable, his wife Maria was the opposite … smart, talented, pretty. Jefferson became infatuated with her, maybe even in love. (A sexual liaison was very unlikely, for several reasons, though often presented as a done-deal.) After two months in Paris, he had to bid the Cosways good-bye as they journeyed on. Within a few days, he wrote this surprising letter, opening by saying he was “more dead than alive” with her departure. He told her of an internal dialogue “between my Head & my Heart.”

He reported both sides of that dialog. His “Head” was emotionless, rational, occasionally blaming his counterpart. His “Heart” replies with nothing but emotion, wounded yet wanting to be hopeful. Jefferson lived much more by logic than emotion, but Maria Cosway was an exception.

These are the opening two salvos. The Head, referring to the Heart as “friend,” coolly observes his sad state. The Heart is grief-stricken, longing for anything, even death, that would take away his sadness.

Will this lengthy letter will lend itself to excerpting each exchange? We’ll see.

A curious tidbit is that the right-handed Jefferson wrote this multi-page, 4,000 word letter, with his left hand. He had dislocated or broken his right wrist days earlier, perhaps in a moment of boyish frivolity inspired by the beautiful Maria Cosway.

Mr. Jefferson will bring both his head and his heart to your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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