I’ve been reading a book called, Chosen for Greatness; How Adoption Changes the World by Paul Batura and was one of the stories was about George Washington Carver. His life was not easy, but he had some great influences in his life including being adopted by Moses and Susan Carver. He grew up on a farm with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. 

Carver was an American agricultural scientist and inventor. He actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. While a professor at Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton.

In 1922, George Washington Carver penned a thank you note to one of his students who had given him a fountain pen as a Christmas present. In the note, Carver offered hope “that each of you will rise to the full height of your possibilities” and suggested these eight cardinal virtues to help them do just that.

Mr. L. Robinson

I wish to express to each member of the Senior class my deep appreciation for the fountain pen you so thoughtfully gave me. This gift is characterized by simplicity and thoughtfulness, which I hope each of you will make the slogan of your lives.

I hope that each of you will rise to the full height of your possibilities, which means the possession of these eight cardinal virtues which constitutes a lady or a gentleman.

  1. Be clean both inside and outside.
  2. Who neither looks up to the rich or down on the poor.
  3. Who loses, if needs be, without squealing.
  4. Who wins without bragging.
  5. Who is always considerate of women, children and old people.
  6. Who is too brave to lie.
  7. Who is too generous to cheat.
  8. Who takes his share of the world and lets other people have theirs.

May God help you to carry out these eight cardinal virtues and peace and prosperity be yours through life.

Lovingly yours,

G. W. Carver

Carver Quotes:

  • Inspiration is never at variance with information; in fact the more information one has, the greater will be the inspiration.
  • When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
  • God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.

On his tombstone, “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world”.

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