Counter Intelligence – July 2012
My choice for this summer’s vacation “pleasure read” was “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” and even though Franklin spent many years as a book publisher, I think it would be excited to learn I read his book on an iPhone.
Franklin is among the group of 18th and 19th century authors whose literary work is similarly pleasurable to fine wine and great cheese. The exquisite precision of his sentence structure often compel me to re-read entire sections for the pure joy of doing so.
Franklin’s excellent prose provides evidence of his extensive vocabulary, no doubt stemming from an early interest in poetry. In the autobiography, he explains how he used the rhythm and rhyme of poetry to force expansion of his vocabulary by re-stating ideas in various poetic forms:
“[Using] words of the same import, but of different length to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, [gave me] a constant necessity of searching for variety, and . . . to fix that variety in my mind, [made] me master of it.”
– Ben Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was an innovative and non-conventional thinker whose greatest contribution to society was his ability to clearly communicate counter-intuitive concepts. The most important lesson I took from his book was the value of diligently working to sharpen my own natural abilities.
Think about this:
When was the last time you purposefully pursued enhanced performance in an activity where you already shine?