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Benjamin Franklin...First Sparker?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I was intrigued when I came across an article about Benjamin Franklin. He could have well been the very first Sparker, and that is high praise indeed.

Ben Franklin was a remarkable man. He was not only a Founding Father, a scientist, an inventor, a U.S. Diplomat, but a musician, a composer, the first postmaster, a stone mason, and renowned author.

Franklin is known for his early inventions working with electrical charges, and invention of the lightning rod, by flying a kite in a lighting storm. He also invented bifocals and his “Franklin stove” (a fireplace that circulated heat into a room without smoke), among other things. Franklin was the British Postmaster for the colonies, which led him to set up a vast communications network. Franklin was second only to George Washington as the most influential champion of American Independence. Franklin was the only Founding Father who signed the four major documents involved with the founding of the United States: The Declaration of Independence, The Treaty alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and finally the United States Constitution. Franklin served as Governor of Pennsylvania, and even freed his slaves and became an outspoken abolitionist. Later, Franklin served as the first U.S. Ambassador to France, followed by Thomas Jefferson.

Franklin was also a diet and fitness guru.

Starting in the early 1700’s, Franklin was a big advocate for diet and exercise. This was a time when nobody even believed that diet and exercise mattered. Franklin started his fitness obsession at age 17, while working for a typesetter in London. He carried two trays of very heavy lead type up and down stairs, while most other employees, could barely manage one. Franklin didn’t drink alcohol, and substituted water, and taught himself to swim, when most people didn’t even know how. Franklin is even in the swimming hall of fame.

in 1733, Franklin started publishing his "Poor Richard's Almanac" in Philadelphia, and continued to publish it for 25 years. Within it’s pages, Franklin often gave advice on health and exercise. "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," he said. "Eat to live; live not to eat,” was another Franklinism. "A full belly makes a bad brain," and "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals,” Franklin also wrote.

Franklin was a consistent exerciser throughout his life. He loved swimming, walking, and leaping. When he got older, he focused on lifting and swinging weights. "No gains without pains,” he said, when he had sore muscles.

Franklin lived to a very wise 84 years of age, 30-40 years more than the average lifespan of that time.

Benjamin Franklin was an inspiraton, not only with his many inventions, his “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, but his duty as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. We can all learn something from the longevity of Ben Franklin, and know that then as now, exercise, water and good eating are all really good for us.

Have you something to do tomorrow? Do it today. - B. Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

What you would seem to be, be really. - B. Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Women and wine, game and deceit make the wealth small and the wants great. - B. Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

The noblest question in the world is “what good may I do in it”. - B. Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Pride dines on vanity, sups on contempt. - B. Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Thanks, Ben Franklin, for everything.

Spark on.
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