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Happy Birthday Ben Franklin!

Posted by on January 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

On Tuesday January 17th, as most Americans were returning to work after the national Martin Luther King Jr holiday, a loyal group of Benjamin Franklin fans were celebrating the founding fathers 306th birthday. While most young people of today know Franklin from old paintings in history books, or maybe his famous experiments with kite flying and electricity, most do not know him at all. Some well-to-do folks may know him as the man on the hundred dollar bill, may put two and two together and realize their Franklin planner was named for him, and may realize that Franklin was not only one of five drafters of the Declaration of Independence, but also a calming and authoritative voice during the drafting and adoption of our countries constitution. I could go on and on telling you about Franklin the man, his achievements and why we should be thankful that such a man lived from 1706 to 1790 in the American colonies. Franklin founded the first library, volunteer fire department, public hospital and the University of Pennsylvania. He invented a wood burning stove still used to day, the first practical bi-focal glasses and developed at least a crude prototype for the car batteries used worldwide today. He was an incredible man. I would encourage you to learn about Franklin and teach your kids about Franklin. I just had the fortune of being able to take my son to an exhibit on Franklin's life that was at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. We both learned a great deal about Franklin that day, not the least of which is that Franklin was a man of expansive, wide ranging tastes. Today, to belatedly celebrate the man that Benjamin Franklin was, and to also celebrate the wisdom he continues to provide, I have selected 10 Benjamin Franklin quotes that stand out in my mind as important. Some are flippant and humorous, some are profound and some are just good old common sense. 1. " Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." 2. "Work as if you had planned to live to 100, pray as if you were to die tomorrow." 3. "If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves." 4, The U.S. constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, just the pursuit of it. You have to catch it by yourself." 5. " A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." 6. "Happiness is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day." 7. "He that can have patience can have what he will." 8. " If you would be loved, love and be lovable." 9. " Well done is better than well said." 10. "Those things that hurt, instruct." Those ten quotes are all very thought provoking and as far as I can determine true in todays life as well as in the 1700's. My favorite Franklin quote is not about business, money, fame or success, but about beer. " Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Yes, that was Benjamin Franklin. As writer of Poor Richards Almanac, he gave us such zingers as "fish and company smell after three days" and "a penny saved, is a penny earned" Franklin had and has a reach far beyond eighteenth century New England. For more on Benjamin Franklin, go to my LINKS section for a link to a short biography on him. Also follow this link to Christian Science Monitors list of ten Franklin quotes to celebrate his birthday. You can also read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which Franklin wrote and revised starting in 1757. It is an interesting read.

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