Recently The Wall Street Journal carried a story from the small town of Erwin,
Tennessee. The local state representative had sponsored several bills and was
responsible for naming 23 bridges in the region. At first he named them for
local heroes. Then he named some for prominent citizens. Then he named some for
his friends. Every bridge has a name. When someone asked long time U.S.
Congressman James H. Quillen if he had noticed all those green signs he said no
but he had noticed the sign on Interstate 181 naming it in his honor — the
James H. Quillen Parkway! His candor is to be appreciated. And it’s quite
natural that we notice things that bear our name. In fact, no letters in print
ever look better to anyone than his own name. That kind of pride is
understandable and excusable. There is another kind of pride that is dangerous
and often the root of evil.
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