Monday, October 23, 2006


Several years ago Newsweek ran an immensely valuable two-page piece entitled "Advice to a (Bored) Young Man" in it's "Responsibility Series." Despite its title, its counsel is to us all - man or woman, young or old.

Died, age 20; buried, age 60. The sad epitaph of too many Americans. Mummification sets in on too many young men at an age when they should be ripping the world wide open. For example: many people reading this page are doing so with the aid of bifocals. Inventor? B. Franklin, age 79.

The presses that printed this page we powered by electricity. One of the first harnessors? B. Franklin, age 40.

Some are reading this on the campus of one of the Ivy League universities. Founder? B. Franklin, age 45.

Others in a library. Who founded the first library in America? B. Franklin, age 25.

Some got their copy through the U.S. Mail. It's father? B. Franklin, age 31.

Now, think fire. Who started the first fire department, invented the lightning rod, designed a heating stove still in use today? B. Franklin, ages 31,43,36.

Wit, Conversationalist, Economist, Philosopher, Diplomat, Printer, Publisher, Linguist (spoke and wrote five languages). Advocate of paratroopers (from balloons) a century before the airplane was invented. All this until age 84.

And he had exactly two years of formal schooling. It's a good bet that you already have more sheer knowledge than Franklin ever had when he was your age.

Perhaps you think there's no use trying to think of anything new, that everything's been done. Wrong. The simple, agrarian America of Franklin's day didn't begin to need the answers we need today. Go do something about it.

Newsweek then suggested that the reader tear out the page and "Read it on your 84th birthday. Ask yourself what took over in your life; indolence or ingenuity?"

There's no reason, however, to wait until your 84th birthday to evaluate. How about looking at it today? There are plenty of motives to keep us going for a lifetime of service to the Lord and others. Time is short. Needs are great. There's lots to do. Go do something about it.


doogarr said...

This piece was written in 1967 by my Uncle . His name is Richard Kerr . It has been a source od encouragment for many of young men and women since . The original hangs at my house framed and signed . doogarr

Dave Browning said...

Thanks for the attribution. I appreciate it.