A Biography of Benjamin Franklin Essay

A Biography of Benjamin Franklin Essay

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A Biography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born into modest circumstances. With sixteen
brothers and sisters, there was no room for selfishness. He learned
early on the importance of putting others before himself and did not
have excessively ambitious plans for the future. As a child, Franklin
"...had a strong inclination for the Sea," but his father would not
hear of it. He ended up indentured to an older brother, who began his
life as a printer. He was a hard worker but preferred to read books,
conquer new subject matter, and engage in debates with other young
scholars. His hard work did pay off in the financial sense later in
life, but of more importance to him was the knowledge and
enlightenment he received through his "hobbies." He became well known
for his work ethic, strong morals and giving persona throughout
Philadelphia, throughout America, and eventually throughout western
civilization. Although he ultimately acquired considerable wealth,
Benjamin Franklin prioritized the betterment of his character,
intellect and reputation over the betterment of his financial
situation.

While still relatively young, Benjamin Franklin laid out guidelines on
how to remain virtuous and content throughout his entire life. These
guidelines contained thirteen virtues which he followed to the best of
his ability. It was a "bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral
Perfection (84)." In this guideline of virtues, Franklin lists
Industry and Frugality. His definition of Frugality goes, "Make no
Expence but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste Nothing
(85)." Following this virtue was beneficial to Franklin throughout hi...


... middle of paper ...


... (97)," so he avoided it at great costs. Franklin was money
conscious, but not money hungry.

Because Benjamin Franklin prioritized the improvement of his
character, intellect, and reputation above all else, he was put into a
situation where obtaining a substantial wealth was relatively easy.
His outstanding character and impressive intellect gained him a
considerable reputation. Consequently, his reputation gained him
additional business and placed him in civic positions, which also
contributed to his income. Wealth, therefore, was a by-product. Being
rich was not as important to Benjamin Franklin as being somebody, and
because he truly became somebody, he was also successful in both a
financial sense and a personal sense. For after obtaining a notable
character, intellect, and reputation, he had conquered his goals.

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