During this time of isolation during COVID, I have been reading and enjoying the thoughts and wisdom of Ben Franklin in his classic book Poor Richard’ Almanac. Most of success in Financial Planning, like every other endeavor, comes from self-discipline, and virtuous thought and living. Franklin using the pseudonym, Poor Richard, published his Almanac as a collection of wisdom sayings collected during his lifetime, along with his wit and commentary. These are pointers for a life well lived and should be “Living 101” for all of those who strive to live the examined life.
Ben Franklin was born in Boston and a leader of the American Revolution who lived from 1706-1790. He was a journalist, publisher, author, scientist, public servant, philanthropist, librarian, diplomat, and inventor. He published his Almanac from 1733-1758. The content was varied, including not only Franklin’s aphorisms that became famous but also calendars, weather forecast, and astrological data. The Almanac was hugely popular in the American colonies, selling more than 10,000 copies per year.
Poor Richard’s maxims ranged widely in topics and were typically laced with humor. Here are some of my favorite examples:
• “Drive your business, or it will drive you.”
• “Three may keep a secret as long as two are dead.”
• “Necessity never made a good bargain.”
• “It’s difficult for an empty sack to stand upright.”
• “It is ill-mannered to silence a fool, and cruelty to let them go on.”
• “Wealth and Content are not always Bedfellows.”
• “Wise people learn from other’s harm; Fools by their own.”
• “Good Sense is a Thing all need, few have, and none think they want.”
• “Do you love life? Then do not squander Time; for that is the Stuff Life is made of.”
• “Employ your time well, if you want to have leisure.”
I hope you enjoyed these. In my next post, I will publish and comment on Franklin’s 13 virtues.