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BASE Jumping: Articles: Stories: Be Franklin

Be Franklin

by Nick Di Giovanni

After all these months of modern politics (I’m drunk now) I cannot help but say:

Benjamin Franklin, Great Person, Great BASE Jumper . . .

In modern terms being a BASE jumper means having the gumption to huck yourself off an object with a parachute that may or may not work. However, in real terms the essence of BASE jumping is leaving behind the common wisdom, to seek out new ideas and to push the bounds of what’s acceptable. To risk it all without being overly afraid while displaying a willingness to accept all the possible consequences.

Everything that Ben Franklin accomplished, as an inventor, a statesman, a printer, a philosopher, a musician, and an economist, would not have been possible if he’d been unwilling to take a chance and to go against the common wisdom

It can easily seem, in these modern times, that although we have the same guile, the same courage, and the same wonder of the world around us that Franklin showed, we cannot rise to that same level of achievement because it’s all been done already. But that’s wrong. The idea that everything new is already conceived prevailed in Franklin’s time as much as it lingers in ours.

There is among us, right now, the new Mark Twain, the new Philo Farnsworth, the new Thomas Jefferson, and the new Mahatma Gandhi. There names will mean nothing to you now because the modern age has too high a signal to noise ratio, but history will bear them out.

So go ahead. Be Ben Franklin. Find your own way. Don’t follow, don’t hold back, and don’t think for a moment you can’t make difference. Take the gift of life and the ability to dream and to imagine how good it can be and roll those ideas down the table like a pair of dice. And don’t let your contemporaries, the fat and the too comfortable, deter you from giving yourself over to the possibilities of your own account. And say NO to everything you know to be untrue in your own heart.

They would like us believe that we live in a country where the only choice is red or blue. But we really have all the colors of rainbow at our disposal. Ben Franklin knew that and he re-invented the world.

And so can you…

Submitted by Nick Di Giovanni on 2007-06-18 | Last Modified on 2007-07-03

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