Topic: Military Theory
Erasmus' Twenty-two Principles
Erasmus' Twenty-two Principles on How to be Strong While Remaining Virtuous in a Dangerous World
From the Enchridion, Militus Christiani: A Guide for the Righteous Protector, by Erasmus, 1503, extracted by Sergeant Chris Pascoe, Michigan State Police
Increase Your Faith
Even if the entire world appears mad.
Act Upon Your Faith.
Even if you must undergo the loss of everything.
Analyze Your Fears.
You will find that things are not as bad as they appear.
Make Virtue The Only Goal Of Your Life.
Dedicate all your enthusiasm, all your effort, your leisure, as well as your business.
Turn Away from Material Things.
If you are greatly concerned with money you will be weak of spirit.
Train Your Mind To Distinguish Good And Evil.
Let your rule of government be determined by the common good.
Never Let Any Setback Stop You In Your Quest.
We are not perfect—this only means we should try harder.
If You Have Frequent Temptations, Do Not Worry.
Begin to worry when you do not have temptation, because that is a sure sign that you cannot distinguish good from evil.
Always Be Prepared for an Attack.
Careful generals set guards even in times of peace.
Spit, As It Were, In The Face Of Danger.
Keep a stirring quotation with you for encouragement.
There Are Two Dangers:
One Is Giving Up, The Other Is Pride.
After you have performed some worthy task, give all the credit to someone else.
Turn Your Weakness Into Virtue.
If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving.
Treat Each Battle As Though It Were Your Last.
And you will finish, in the end, victorious!
Don't Assume That Doing Good Allows You To Keep A Few Vices.
The enemy you ignore the most is the one who conquers you.
Weigh Your Alternatives Carefully.
The wrong way will often seem easier than the right way.
Never Admit Defeat Even If You Have Been Wounded.
The good soldier's painful wounds spur him to gather his strength.
Always Have A Plan Of Action.
So when the time comes for battle, you will know what to do.
Calm Your Passions By Seeing How Little There Is To Gain.
We often worry and scheme about trifling matters of no real importance.
Speak With Yourself This Way:
If I do what I am considering, would I want my family to know about it?
Virtue Has Its Own Reward
Once a person has it, they would not exchange it for anything.
Life Can Be Sad, Difficult, And Quick:
Make It Count For Something!
Since we do not know when death will come, act honorably everyday.
Repent Your Wrongs
Those who do not admit their faults have the most to fear.