One of the founding fathers of USA, Benjamin Franklin has been a man of principles and worldly wisdom. I have filtered some of the wise passages from his book Franklin’s Way to Wealth or ‘Poor Richard Improved’. (Book can be downloaded freely in various formats from Project Gutenberg’s website.)

Although every single sentence in the book is refined wisdom itself, here are my picks. Each verse is golden, keep them in safe.

Value of Time

“It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life.”

“Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that, the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave.”

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that rises late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Being Productive

“Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains.”

“He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour. But then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.”

“Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.”

“If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country and your king.”

Leisure in Life

“Methinks I hear some of you say, “Must a man afford himself no leisure?” I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, “Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.” Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; for “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

Timeless wisdom from Benjamin Franklin and fantastic observations of human behavior. Part 2 of filtered wisdom from Ben Franklin will follow.

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