These days, a lot of our society tends to make things up as it goes along. Folks must do so since our current notion of progress tends to resemble a perpetual revolution. If we are constantly rejecting not only the past, but also the ‘now’, in the hope of creating a better future, it’s hard to build up experience, to see how things play out over time, to reflect upon what has happened, and to gain wisdom.

Yet despite our modern tendencies toward perpetual revolution, it doesn’t take that much to look back and gain from the experiences of others. Not all of it will be accepted or be applicable, but we can sift through the writings of old to find kernels of truth. After all, they were people just like us.

Without further ado, here is one such kernel written by Benjamin Harris and discovered in The New England Primer (circa 1690). 325 years old, yet it still rings true on friendship, love, and human relations.

“Have communion with few,
Be intimate with one,
Deal justly with all,
Speak evil of none.”