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My Favorite List of Wisdom from Practical Ben Franklin, Founding Father for Modern Living

Updated on January 22, 2013

Ben Franklin's Lightning Rod

Ben Franklin's wisdom, invention & innovations are still with us in America everyday. The lightning rod is one such invention you can see at your place of worship in every community in America today.

Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity; as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies.

As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin set the standards for the American ethos as a marriage of the practical and democratic values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment.

To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."


Family & Friends (Ben Franklin Wisdom 01)

I have classified my favorite wisdoms in 4 catagories: (1) Family & Friends (2) Life & Living (3) Human Nature (4) Nation. This module is (1).

The photos associated with each module is from my memorybook of Ben Franklin's life. My community tv show, "Our Family Origins' have produced 2 half hour CTV "talk" shows on Ben Franklin in a series "Innovation 1776" from which these B.F. photos were talken.

1.1. A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

1.2. Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

1.3 An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

1.4 Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.

1.5 God helps those who help themselves.

1.6 There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.

Human Nature; Life & Living (Ben Franklin Wisdom 3 & 2 )


3.1 A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

3.2 All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

3.3 The doors of wisdom are never shut.

3.4 To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.

2.1 A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.

2.2 Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

2.3 Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

2.4 He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

2.4 Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.

2.5 He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

2.6 I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.

2.7 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.

2.8 If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

Nation (Ben Franklin Wisdom 4)

Ben Franklin in Paris-- Memorybook 1776
Ben Franklin in Paris-- Memorybook 1776

4.1 Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.

4.2 The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself

4.3 Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.

4.4 We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately

4.5 This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.

For your next planned visit to our Nation's Capital & Gateway to Old Virginia, Northern Virginia, link with us now via my page at govloop social network (consider joining their 'Collaboration Group" as I have). I am not a govie but a technology innovation consultant & community tv producer. This social network is primarily for gove personnel but others are welcome.

My url for 'collaborations', community to community & biz to biz is

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Ben Franklin & Early America-- Philadelphia


YouTube--Café Twin Conversation #4 Fairfax C2C : Fairfax Resolve Part B - Qualiy Life Style Hometown USA

An inspiration for innovation and new birth of freedom. Legacy of Ben Frankling and Founding Fathers America

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Wlecome to My Favorite Wisdom of Ben Franklin

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    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Ben Franklin was a statesman, inventor and a founding father of these United States. One of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes is " a Penny saved, is a Penny earned"...I have used this principal of compounding interest for the past 3 years by saving my income tax refunds and now I have a nice little emergency fund all thanks to Ben Franklin!

    • MizzMary profile image

      MizzMary 5 years ago

      "I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up." I love this one! I work with the public, and when people ask me how I am, I often say, 'I got up out of bed this morning, so I must be fine.' So glad to see that quote here, it made my day.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 years ago

      I definitely like the quote about "investment in knowledge pays the best interest". Hadn't heard that one before.

    • Loganor profile image

      Loganor 5 years ago

      I love these quotes. Ben Franklin was a very wise man. We should pay more attention to him.

    • profile image

      PollyFreakingAnna 5 years ago

      So many great quotes. I read a book I THINK called the Americanization of Ben Franklin... It sort of disillusioned me about the man, but I can ignore that to still appreciate all of his little epigrams.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      What a national treasure was Benjamin Franklin!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      What a national treasure was Benjamin Franklin!

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 6 years ago

      "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself" Amen, Ben. Amen. (Great lens!!)

    • Toni-Roman profile image

      Toni-Roman 6 years ago

      I need to return to this lens to mull over Ben Franklin's proverbs.

      Not clear on Twin Project or what it has to do with Benjamin Franklin but I like the ideas of (1) economic prosperity for community and (2) quality of life.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      I've always been a fan of Ben Franklin - he's someone I would have loved to have met and talked with. Great lens.

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 6 years ago

      Seeing things about the founding fathers is one of the reasons I loved the first National Treasure movie. Great lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      to see is to believe. i can't see God but i believe He exists. is this acceptable?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      There are three things extremely hard steel, a diamond, and to know one's self, truer words were never spoken, I loved that quote and the words in particular about knowing one's self, you have me intrigued already.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm glad I checked back here...I apparently forgot to rate the last time I stopped by, I apologize.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Ben certainly shared much wisdom! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The wisdom of Ben franklin seems about endless.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Loved the wisdom of words, to practice them is what makes the difference, a good read.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Very interesting lens! Lots here I didn't know. A good read!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      Here is a person we can agree on as a great American and wise man indeed. Great lens

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      Interesting lens! Benjamin Franklin was an amazing man with lots of wisdom.

    • profile image

      blastfromthepas1 6 years ago

      I love reading the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers. Their wisdom is highly relevant for today's problems.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      In England, a frenzy of canal-digging activity from 1760 to 1800 almost doubled the navigable waterways to about 2,400 miles (3,862 kilometers). Viewing this work in progress during 1772, visiting American Benjamin Franklin wrote from London: âRivers are ungovernable things, especially in hilly countries. Canals are quiet and very manageable.â

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Old Ben sure was a wise man.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 6 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Thanks for your wise comment. One thing that we can do now is to adopt "Ben Franklin's "Junto Club" (Also called "Leather Appron Club") on a community level as he did, when he first started his buisness as a printer and publisher in Philadelphia. The purpose was "self improvement & mutual improvement". Much good came out of this club that has inspired me to form a similar club here in Northern Virginia, "Cafe Twin" (previous version was a "Tech Entrepreneurs Network". Anyone else has a version of Junto Club ?

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Benjamin Franklin's wisdom still makes perfect sense today. I wish more people in our country were paying attention.

    • ZablonMukuba profile image

      ZablonMukuba 7 years ago

      Ben Franklin is one of my heroes