BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 4
Thelife of was a rare one even in today’s standards. It is not easy to find one person who is a book publisher, ascientist, a novelist, an educationist, a diplomat, and apolitician(Baym,1865). It is the same as finding someone who is a physical scientistand social scientists as well. Nonetheless, there is one aspect thatbinds all of Franklin’s qualities: the search for peace. Benjaminrelentlessly sought intellectual peace, political peace, andfinancial and the peace of the mind. The three aspects of hisdemeanor are all evident in his life. How Franklin managed to strikethe right balance among all these divergent features remains a wonderfor both his peers and in contemporary terms. Fundamentally, heachieved phenomenal success in all of them.
Inhis search for financial peace, Franklin wittingly masked himself asa hardworking ordinary person so that he could win the support of hisclients. Not to forget that the gentleman also worked hard toacquire an international persona by learning all the languages thatmattered, and still matter to date: Spanish, French, Italian, andLatin. The sophistication of learning all these languages did notmake Franklin lose focus on the need to make business success. Onecan only imagine a knowledgeable man of Franklin’s caliber pushinga wheelbarrow in ordinary clothes across the streets of Philadelphia. If keeping it down to earth was the best way to earn the bestbusiness reputation, then indeed, Franklin was shrewd andintelligent.
Aman pursuing financial independence and growth also wanted adifferent kind of intellectual fulfillment that was somewhatirrelevant to his business pursuits. Writing philosophical thoughtsand printing them by himself was incredible. One wonders whereFranklin got the time for all these endeavors. Being the main editorof the Pennsylvaniagazette, owninga printer, and the being merchant are not the descriptions that fitone person. May be Franklin should have been the merchant that sellspublications from another writer contracted by another publisher whoof course owns the printer. However, Franklin was all these in one.Spectacular!
Onthe flip side of side of the shrewd business manlay Franklin thepolitician. More interesting is the fact that Franklin was able tobe way ahead of his time. How could a politician of the early yearsof independence afford to say liberal words such as, “illegitimatebirth men should share equal blame with women….” To be honest,these words are not yet acceptable in some places in the twenty firstcentury. Franklin wrote the liberal statement in one of his popularwritings, “Speech of Miss Polly Baker”. Franklin not only wrotedown his perspectives of the sensitive social issue, but practicedthem as well. He accepted his illegitimate son, William he had withthe daughter of his first land lady. William would later become thegovernor of New Jersey. These were the greatest signs that Franklinwas a liberal person who was out make peace not just with himself butwith the world. No wonder, Franklin served as one of the bestdiplomats that brought the revolutionary war to an end. He was alsoamong the drafters of the declaration of independence. What a man!He was both in the laboratories and the table of diplomacy. Henegotiated business deals and peace deals. Franklin is, indeed, oneof best people of all time regardless of the critics.
Baym,N. (Ed.). (1865). The Norton Anthology of American Literature, EighthShorter Edition (Vol. 1820, pp. 445-63). WW Norton and Company, 2013.