Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Benjamin Franklin

1706 – 1790 CE

Beginning his adult life as a penniless runaway, Franklin became one of the world’s most admired people. He was a founding father, diplomat, scientist, philosopher, businessman, inventor, and the politician most responsible for winning the Revolutionary War. His inventions included the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, and he helped start many new civic organizations including voluntary fire departments and paid police forces. He recreated the slogan/quote tradition of Aesop and Atisa that we continue in our “Comments” link.

Eras

Sources

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Poor Richard's Almanack

Unlisted Sources

The Way to Wealth, 1757

Quotes by Benjamin Franklin (28 quotes)

“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

Themes: Mistakes

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“An old young man will be a young old man.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Old Age

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“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in changing others.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

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“Good Sense is a thing all need, few have, and none think they lack.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

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“He that falls in love with himself, will have no rivals.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Love Egolessness

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“He wished to please everybody; and, having little to give, he gave expectations.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

Themes: Illusion

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“I have never seen the Philosopher’s Stone that turns lead into Gold, but I have known the pursuit of it turn a Man’s Gold into Lead.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“I never doubted… that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter. These I esteem’d the essentials of every religion.”

from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Chapters: 54. Planting Well

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“it being more difficult for a man in want to act honestly… ‘it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.’”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Crime

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“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards..”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 29. Not Doing
61. Lying Low

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“Neither trust, nor contend, lay wagers, nor lend; and you’ll have peace until your life's end.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Peace Strategy

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“Our debates were… to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth without… desire of victory… all expressions of positiveness in opinions or direct contradiction were prohibited.”

from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

Themes: Victory Opinion

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“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

Themes: Less is More

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“Silence is not always a sign of wisdom but babbling is ever a mark of folly.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

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“Teach your child to hold his tongue, he’ll learn fast enough to speak.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 60. Less is More

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“The objections and reluctances I met with in soliciting the subscriptions, made me soon feel the impropriety of presenting one’s self as the proposer of any useful project.. I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight and stated it as a scheme of ‘a number of friends.’”

from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Chapters: 17. True Leaders
77. Stringing a Bow

Themes: Anonymity

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“The poor have little,
Beggars none;
The rich too much,
Enough not one.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

Themes: Equanimity

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“Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Wisdom

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“There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war...This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle.”

from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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“In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by Faith,but by the lack of it.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

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“Beauty, like supreme dominion is but supported by opinion.”

Themes: Opinion Beauty

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“I didn't fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”

Themes: Failure

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“Wisdom and virtue are the same thing.”

Themes: Virtue

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“If you love life, do not squander time for that's the stuff life is made from.”

from The Way to Wealth, 1757

Themes: Time

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“Nothing is more fatal to health than an overcare of it.”

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“God heals and the doctor takes the fees.”

Themes: Medicine Health

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“Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

Themes: Complaint

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“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”

from Poor Richard's Almanack

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Quotes about Benjamin Franklin (4 quotes)

“Some writers—impressed by the artificial splendors of the European courts—feel that Benjamin Franklin at the court of Louis XVI with his long hair, his plain clothes, and his pawky manner, was sadly lacking in aristocratic distinction. But, stripped to their personalities, Louis XVI was hardly gifted enough or noble minded enough to be Franklin's valet.”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

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“Franklin's quiet memory climbs to heaven,
Calming the lightning which he thence hath riven,
Or drawing from the no less kindled earth
Freedom and peace to that which boasts his birth”

Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 CE
(George Gordon Byron)
The first rock-star style celebrity
from Age OF Bronze

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“Franklin's life, a parable of New World possibilities, abounded in novelties... The bare facts of his career needed no embellishment to become the success saga of a self made man... a versatile high priest of the European Enlightenment... Franklin's legendary frontier charm enchanted the most elegant drawing rooms and the most desirable bedrooms. The rumors of his liaisons were countless... His last public act was a petition to Congress for the abolition of slavery.”

Daniel J. Boorstin 1914 – 2004 CE
American intellectual Paul Revere
from Creators—Heroes of the Imagniation, 1992

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“a philosophical Quaker full of mean and thrifty maxims”

John Keats 1795 – 1821 CE
Writer of "poems as immortal as English"

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