Benjamin Franklin Poster Child LRN LAF LUV LIV LYF Learn Laugh Love Live Life

Benjamin Franklin and the Philosophy for LYF

This website has and will continue to showcase everyday people––people like you and me––who exemplify concepts of LRN LAF LUV LIV for LYF and the Philosophy for LYF. It is inspiring to know that all of us have the ability to better our lives regardless of where we have come from or what we have done.  We all have the capacity for goodness, and we all can do goodness to ourselves and others.

A few real-life regular people who have been highlighted on this website include:

  • Campbell Remess, a not-yet-teenager from Tasmania, who built teddy bears for sick children.
  • Joe Thomas, a waiter at an IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, USA, who helped feed a customer who, due to her illness, is unable to feed herself.
  • Judy O'Connor, a mother, who left her teaching position to help her son, a quadriplegic, enroll in, attend classes, and graduate from an MBA program.

You may know of or have met people from all walks of life––teachers, store clerks, parents, co-workers––who have empowered you, uplifted you, nurtured you, or inspired you. Each act of goodness you witness can be an example and an inspiration.

Benjamin Franklin and LRN LAF LUV LIV for LYF

To fully understand the power of the Philosophy for LYF and picture what an elevated life may look like, I would like to present an example "poster child" for the philosophy: Benjamin Franklin.

I preface this example with two important points:

  • This is not to suggest that you need to be a well-known and extraordinarily accomplished person to have an elevated life.  There are thousands of examples of everyday people who are experiencing elevated lives and who are known only to their circle of friends and acquaintances.
  • This is not to suggest that you must be perfect. Franklin was not perfect. No one is perfect. Life is not perfect.  And an elevated life is not perfect.  As long as we are on the right path with our core value of goodness and doing deeds of goodness that grow true wealth and give true worth, we can elevate our lives.

Why Benjamin Franklin?

First, Franklin has a large written record of his beliefs, his actions, and his accomplishments.  There can be opinions on who he was as a person and some selective picking of events to make a point, but there is a wealth of his own writings and historical documents to present facts over the course of his life that give us meaningful material to understand his thoughts and actions.

Second, Franklin came from a poor working class family with limited schooling.  Achieving an elevated life is possible no matter where you come from.

Third, Franklin's life has examples that support the many concepts of the Philosophy for LYF and that can inspire us to better our lives.

A Very Brief Introduction to Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin lived throughout most of the 18th century (1706-1790).  He was raised in Boston, Massachusetts, moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at age 17, and lived the majority of his life there.  He also spent a significant number of years living in England and France.

Franklin contributed in many areas as a printer, an author, a scientist, an inventor, a statesman, a diplomat, and a "Founding Father".  He became wealthy writing and publishing annual editions of Poor Richards Almanack.  He experimented with electricity, studied population growth, and charted ocean currents, among other scientific pursuits.  His inventions include the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and bifocal eyeglasses.  He was a postmaster, Postmaster General, Ambassador to France, and President of Pennsylvania.  He is the only Founding Father of the United States of America to have signed all four of the key documents establishing the U.S: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Great Britain (1783), and the U.S. Constitution (1787).

An estimated 20,000 people attended his funeral. Towns, counties, schools, businesses, and streets are named after him over two hundred years after his death. He currently graces the U.S. one-hundred-dollar bill.

Benjamin Franklin and the Core Values

Goodness is the foundational core value of your life's strategy, mission, and vision.  It is embedded in the deeds of goodness (LRN, LAF, LUV, and LIV), in true wealth and true worth, and in an elevated life.

Franklin understood the importance of goodness in daily living and its role in an elevated life.  He wrote in his autobiography that each morning he would ask himself this question:

"What good shall I do this day?"

And he would conclude his evening with this question:

"What good have I done to-day?"

Franklin expressed in a 1790 letter to Reverend Ezra Stiles, the President of Yale College, "that the most acceptable Service we can render to [God], is doing Good to his other Children."

The next few posts will provide specific examples of Benjamin Franklin doing each of the four deeds of goodness inward toward self and outward toward others, starting with Benjamin Franklin and LRN.

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