Tag Archives: devotion

What Are Benjamin Franklin’s Three Faithful Friends?

“There are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”      

– Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin – a leader in creating the United States of America, and civic organizations, and new wisdom.  And his wisdom above is a lot of what counts in life: Companionship, Devotion; and to take Action.  Let’s look at these important elements in our lives.

1- An Old Wife.  I’m not sure it’s about age.  What it is about is a long-term companion that knows you.  They support you, help you, care for you.  Maybe that is an ‘old wife’,  a mother who listens, or a sincere friend.

2- An Old Dog.  A dog is faithful.  Dogs are unconditionally loving, and are there by your side.  They forgive immediately.  Joy and devotion are their qualities.

3- Ready Money.  Why ready money?  When we have a vision, we don’t want to be strapped.  If we want to help the world, we need to have some funds so we aren’t held back, and it doesn’t need to be a lot.  But you usually need something to “start the car” of your vision, and make a change.

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So let’s ensure we have “an old wife, an old dog, and ready money” in whatever way that means in our own lives.  Companionship, Constancy and Change are important for us to be peaceful and to make a difference in our lives, and the world.

                                                                           —✶—

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 -April 17, 1790) born in Boston, Massachusetts was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and physics for his discoveries regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, and a carriage odometer.

Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution, and negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the Revolutionary War. He also served as president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, wrote many tracts urging the abolition of slavery and petitioned the U.S Congress for it in 1790.  Franklin facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.  Franklin was married to Deborah Read. Franklin had three children, Francis, Sarah and William. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the home of his daughter, Sarah. (Biosource: Wikipedia: Benjamin Franklin)

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The Importance of Friendship: “A Time to Talk” by Robert Frost

A Time to Talk by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Robert Frost creates a wonderful picture of our devotion to work.   It’s an image of hard, sweat inducing labor, in which we are reluctant to stop the momentum of producing on a farm.

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As we look to a modern day context in our cities, what are we relentlessly devoted to?  Will we interrupt the flow of getting through our emails, to share a meaningful moment?  computer

In a year, will you remember that email you had to get back to…

email

Or will you remember this:   You stopped what you were doing.  You devoted your full focus to your friend.  It is a loving person who has stopped by to say hello.   Doesn’t love deserve your attention?

friends

When you look back, you will want to remember:

Kindness

smiles

not:

desk stress

Choose Your Friend.

“Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Robert Frost (1874-1963) was a highly-regarded poet known for his depiction of rural life.  He published his first poem in high school.  He attended Harvard but did not graduate due to illness; he received an honorary degree from Harvard posthumously, as well as more than 40 other honorary degrees.  Though Frost grew up in the city, he lived on farms later in his life.  He was a professor at Amherst College, and at Middlebury College for 42 years.  Some of his best-known poems include “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American writer, lecturer and poet.  He was a leader in the Transcendentalist movement, and a founder of the Transcendental Club, which included members such as Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott.  Transcendentalism emphasized the importance of individuality, and the presence of the divine in all things.  Among Emerson’s most famous writings are his essay, “Nature,” and his book, Self-Reliance.  Emerson and his wife, Lydia, had four children, including Edward Waldo Emerson who published writing on both his father and Henry David Thoreau.