This year I dressed up as Ben Franklin for Halloween. I’ve had a mild interest in him this year, so today I’m going to write a few things I admire about him. This is not exhaustive, just some elements that come to mind.

  1. Reading his autobiography, I admired his initiative. He would identify problems in his world and had the resolve to bring change. Sometimes it was as simple as getting a street lamp for his neighborhood, other times it was voicing for fair government.
  2. He had an unending curiosity. His profession began as a printer, but in his spare time, he conducted numerous scientific experiments. Some of these became inventions - the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, bifocals.
  3. He understood the effect of a good story. He would deliver his newspaper in the early morning before anyone was awake, but would deliberately go out a second time just to be seen. His neighbors made a mental connection that he was a hard worker.
  4. And he actually worked hard. I never knew about his early life or how he ended up in Philadelphia. He had quite a life from such a low starting point.