A Letter to Young Ben Franklin From Which We Can All Learn


In his youth, Benjamin Franklin received a letter from one of his friends rebuking his opinionated nature. The letter is included here because I believe we can all learn from it.

“Ben, you are impossible. Your opinions have a slap in them for everyone who differs with you. They have become so offensive that nobody cares for them. Your friends find they enjoy themselves better when you are not around. You know so much that no man can tell you anything. Indeed, no man is going to try, for the effort would lead only to discomfort and hard work. So you are not likely ever to know any more than you do now, which is very little.

What a great friend this man was! He told the truth. And Ben listened…and went on to become one of the greatest Diplomats in American history.

What can we learn from this letter?

Often, it is best to choose being nice, over being right. Forcing your opinion down another person’s throat never works. And know it alls tend to lose it all before they know it.

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