Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Ben Franklin

Earlier this week I got a lot of feedback when I shared a couple Ben Franklin quotes on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to being a wit with the pen, Franklin was quite the inventor. Like many inventors his motivation was to solve problems.

Franklin, who loved to read, had poor eyesight. Rather than take his glasses on and off to read the newspaper, he cut some lenses in half and invented the first set of bifocals.

Franklin is famous for flying a kite during a lightning storm, and though he did not invent electricity, he learned a lot about it and ultimately invented the lightning rod to protect buildings and ships during electrical storms.

Ben Franklin's claim to fame comes from being in the center of the action during the founding of our nation. The happening place at the time was Philadelphia, and he was the editor of its primary newspaper, a learned man who is considered one of our Founding Fathers. He was also a diplomat and a statesman, important in getting France to back the Colonies in their effort to obtain freedom from Great Britain.

Though many of his adages are great guides for life, he didn't always practice what he preached. For example, he famously quipped, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." To John Adams' great surprises (as recorded in his diary) when he went to France for four months, sharing a bed with Franklin, he found old Ben was quite found of late night parties and sleeping in.

Still, the pearls of wisdom Franklin generated are enjoyable to ponder, and when the shoe fits, wear it.

"Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame."

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins."

"Content makes poor men rich, discontent makes rich men poor."

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

"Well done is better than well said."

"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship."

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn."

"He that waits upon fortune is never sure of dinner."

That's enough food for thought for one day. Have a good one.

No comments: