Ben Franklin repeatedly turned to these quotes from Horace when thinking of someone who wasted his life and ability to do something useful:
"There are a number of us creep
Into this world, to eat and sleep;
And know no reason why they're born,
But merely to consume the corn,
Devour the cattle, fowl, and fish
And leave behind an empty dish.
Though crows and Ravens do the same,
Unlucky birds of hateful name,
Ravens or crows might fill their places,
And swallow corn and eat carcasses.
Then, if their tombstone, when they die,
Be n't taught to flatter or to lie,
There's nothing better will be said,
Than that they've eat up all their bread,
Drunk all their drink, and have gone to bed."
Life is not merely for idle Amusement
How can you make a difference?
Ben Franklin invented bi-focals, discovered electricity, invented the lightning rod which detracted lightning from houses and stopping them from being burnt to the ground, he helped create the Declaration of Independence, he created a musical instrument "The Armonica" a beautiful sounding instrument like a piano but with sounds from water in different size glasses, he inspired generations (including me!), inspired people with his books and Poor Richard's Almanack, gathered together wisdom of the ages and made it accessible to the poorer, more illiterate people, helped print our money, prevented counterfeiting, was in charge of the Postal system, ran his own printing press, helped found a library and I could go on and on. Who would not want to try and accomplish something like this list too? So I believe it is worth know what his advice was and listening to it....and then, or course, taking action worthy of it.
Oh yes, I might have forgotten to mention that he only had 2 years of schooling - from ages 8 to 10
Discovering Ben Franklin
by Sandra Aitken
I recently discovered the amazing works of Ben Franklin. I read an excerpt from his auto-biography in an American History book. I was surprised to find he'd written one 'cause I'd never heard of it before. I got a copy of his autobiography and read it. I must admit when I began reading it, it was mostly to try to educate myself. I thought I'd probably be bored and I'd have to force myself to read every word. However, happily, I discovered I was mistaken.
Each new day I eagerly read snatches of his experiences and philosophy. Each problem he encountered, he used as a tool to develop a new pattern of behavior which could help him avoid facing that same problem in the future. His life strategy was admirable in a multitude of ways and this is why he was able to accomplish so much in life. It worked!
Now, I'm trying to live each day by remembering his strategies and applying them to my life. If more people studied Ben Franklin and used him as a role model for life, I believe the world would be a lot less chaotic and much better off then it is today.
I often feel people have too much time on their hands and waste it unproductively. Can you imagine if the world was filled with Ben Franklins, what we'd be accomplishing to better the world for humanity? Ben was human with faults as we all are, but he made the world a better place and was one of the first proponents of free speech in America.
Did you know he never went to high school, let alone college? And yet how many people know his name or look forward to one of those Ben Franklin's ($100 bill) being placed in their hands? My advice is to learn from him and bring new productive energy into this increasingly frenzied world. That's what I'm trying to do.