Friday, April 14, 2006

Cloning Ben Franklin: Posted by Jeff Papenfus

Ok, Ok, I'm a little behind in reading this blog, my only excuse is I'm building companies too....

I noticed this from March 30th, - "Did you know this? Franchising begun by Ben Franklin in Charleston" - with the comment that why don't we just clone Ben himself?

What was it about Dr. Franklin that made him the amazing man he was (writer, inventor, diplomat, businessman, musician, scientist, humorist, civic leader, international celebrity [franschisor?])? One of the most extraordinary humans, ever.

What were the circumstances that lead to the development of such a person? Born only 14 years after the Salem Witch trials as the 15th child of a candle maker in colonial Boston. Certainly not a child of wealth, Franklin never stopped learning or thinking or asking questions.

An amazing person even before 1727 when he helped form the Junto, a club for business, friendship and conversation. Imagine the discussions and debates that must have gone on for 30 years (and continue today as the American Philosophical Society 200 years later) . Could this collaboration of diverse occupations and backgrounds have contributed to Franklin's success. I suggest that sure didn't hurt.

And how do we produce our own Franklin today? By supporting initiatives in our community that bring together opportunities for diverse minds to think together and get out of the way of the results.

Imagine if we had our own Franklin in the Upstate? Or if everyone had the opportunity to pursue their one idea! An successful society encourages, nurtures and facilitates its citizenry to be creative in life and in deeds. Our community is good at this today. Our community can be better at it tomorrow.

Support entrepreneurial activity in Greenville! And let's all find our inner Ben Franklin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree we should clone Mr. Frankin a million times over. As you said, he was a true American and easily regarded as one of the smartest founding fathers.

But, I think it’s ironic that the Upstate would hold him in such high esteem, since he along with Thomas Jefferson didn’t truly believe in the divinity of Christ or the Christian faith, despite the spinning-machines of many neo-conservatives in our country.

One only has to do a Google search for “Ben Frankin, Christian” or “Thomas Jefferson, Christian” to get direct quotes from these amazing men.

My point is this, for a town that’s so religious to the point that it’s spooky, we should all keep in mind that the economic free-market system we enjoy so much and that fuels our wealth should also be cherished and extended to the “free-market system of religious ideas/beliefs”. This would mean that no one should really assert that one religion is better than the other (affecting the belief systems of Christianity, Islam, etc.).

I know a lot of people (locals and newcomers) feel the dividing effect that this invisible-hand of religiosity in Greenville causes. I fear that it will continue to be a contributor to the insular perspective as the rest of the world becomes more global. This unique problem might affect the ability to attract a diversity of companies, jobs, and people to the area which is critical to vitalizing our economy.