Trenchard and Gordon wrote a series of letters that became huge inspirations to the Founding Fathers. These letters, about political and business events in connection to wise decision making, are referred to as the Cato’s Letters because Cato was the pseudonym they chose to write under. In Letter 6, Gordon writes “Self love beguiles men into false hopes, and they will venture to incur a hundred probable evils, to catch one possible good.”Here, Gordon is describing how men let vanity dictate all of their actions. The sense of pridefulness, or self love as he calls it, creates a destination that is not only impossible to reach, but is rooted in nothing but a hypothetical dream. The road you must take to achieve this dream is filled with strife due to the lack of true substance to grab on to. No profit would ever come from the glimpse of happiness your mind has imagined. Once you become full of yourself, you believe anything can be accomplished. You think you’re untouchable. But no one can do all. And this assumed maxim will lead to you doing anything to make it true, no matter what the cost.
The founders knew they were not perfect. They didn’t rely on themselves alone to turn things around. Because of this, they knew the idea of success was no false hope. They also did not take a path of evil in order to find good. They stayed true to their virtue and banded together, overcoming their faults not ignoring them.
We must recognize that we are not perfect. We can know our strengths without becoming prideful or vain and we can eliminate evils on our path to good. We must not be deceived by our own mind if we ever wish to avoid deception by someone else.