Bend it Like Ben
In this story below, I am attempting to bring to life, a historical character or personality. It is a technique I call “ResuLife”.
See if you like it. If you do, find one character you like and bring to life in your speeches.
My favorite historical personality was a “widow.” Yes, I said he was a widow! I know what you are thinking… “He must have failed English 101!”
By 10, he went to work for his father as a mechanic. Later, he joined his elder brother James as an apprentice printer. He wanted so badly to write for the paper, but he knew that James would never let him do it. After all, he was just a low level apprentice, without formal education.
Against the odds, he began writing letters to the editor at night and signed them off with his fictional name “Silence Dogood,” a claiming to be a widow.
Silence Dogood was critical of the world. His writings were full of satire and bits and pieces of wits and wisdom. Under the cover of darkness, he sneaks out, tiptoes his way to the print shop. When nobody was is in sight, he slips the letter under the door and races back to the house.
Months later, people took notice of Silence Dogood. They wanted to know who was this enigmatic widow. Initially, he tried to evade the limelight, but people clamored to know Silence Dogood. Mind you, everyone was expecting to see an old grumpy widow, but it turned out, to be witty Ben, a little silly boy.
Benjamin Franklin went on to be one of the most respected founding fathers and statesman in America. Along the way, he held many remarkable positions: leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, post master, and inventor.
In 1856, at the unveiling of his statue in Boston, Robert Winthrop used some very eloquent words that summed up Ben Franklin; a.k.a. Silence Dogood ‘s life story say to thousands of admirers and fans.
“Lift up your heads and look at the image of a man who enjoyed no advantages of patronage or parentage, who performed some of the most menial services in the various businesses in which his earlier life was employed, but who lived on to stand before the Kings and died to leave a name the world will never forget.”
I don’t know about you, but for me, I can say it all happened because Ben had the courage to tell himself, “If you can’t break the law, bend the rules.”
That is what I ‘ve have learned from Ben Franklin!