A man who continued to try, inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born on this day in Boston. He was the only person to sign the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Treaty of Paris.
The inventor of bifocals and the lightning rod, among his many accomplishments, Franklin also published the annual Poor Richard's Almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. The proverb-filled piece sold as many as 10,000 copies and featured Franklin's keen wit and straightforward prose.
"Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy," he wrote.
His Almanac was a guide to weather forecasts, recipes, jokes, and clever aphorisms such as: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise;" "Snug as a bug in a rug;" and "Health is the way to manís wealth."
The almanac remained a best-seller in the colonies with Franklin's recurrent themes for success, industry, and frugality.
"Beware of little expenses," he warned. "A small leak will sink a great ship."
All his life, the brilliant Franklin tried to improve the world around him. His creation of the almanac was an educational service that played a large part in molding the American character. A legacy, his words remain appropriate today.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain," lamented Poor Richard's Almanac with a pinch of irony. "And most fools do."More PROVERBS
Try. Even if you fail, you will learn.