How would you describe a person who was an author, businessman, printer, entrepreneur, politician, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, and a literal walking encyclopedia? His wisdom held together a fragile disparate group, contemplating a revolt against the most powerful nation on the face of the earth at the time. He led a colorful life and left a legacy of scientific and political achievement. His status as one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers led us to place Benjamin Franklin on our largest Treasury note in circulation. He —text added: and Alexander Hamilton ($10 bill)— are the only people to grace our currency that didn’t hold the office of President. (Thanks to SunshineDiver for pointing this out!)
Here are a few of his most famous quotes. His wisdom is timeless and his perspective is enlightening.
On hope — He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
On peace — Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
On blogging — Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
On excuses — He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
On free trade — No nation was ever ruined by trade.
On money — He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
On credit — Remember that credit is money.
On long term thinking — Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.
On debt — Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.
On personal finance — If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
On wealth accumulation — If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.
On work ethic — Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
On secrets — Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
On contentment — Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
On debt again — Creditors have better memories than debtors.
On friends — Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
On frugality — Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
On criticism — Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
On expenses – Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
On diligence — Diligence is the mother of good luck.
On education — If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
On passion — If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
On reputation — It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
On marriage — Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
On time management — Lost time is never found again.
On negotiation — Necessity never made a good bargain.
On happiness — The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
There’s a huge amount of potential topics to write about in this list. Look for them in future blog posts!