November 23, 2015

Why we Should be Grateful to our "Tribe"

For Americans, Thanksgiving is only three days away. Many of us have not accomplished all of our goals. Some of us have completed few of them. In that case, why should we be grateful for continuing struggles?

Perhaps we should look at it this way: we might have even more challenges if we hadn’t been helped along the way by numerous people. Yes, there are plenty of selfish individuals out there who mean to harm us. But, nobody succeeds in a vacuum.

How we Help Each Other

Galatians 6:2: “Bear on another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

I would like to thank my tribe: my family, extended family—and, of course, my readers. There’s no way I would be able to continue writing without the caring support I have received. I know that time is more valuable than ever in this fast-paced age, so I thank you for taking time out of your schedule for me. Your positive feedback is more precious than gold. (Hint: The comments section is below this post.)

America: Facts vs. Fiction

This educational series is a never-ending font of interesting, quirky facts about United States history.  In the episode entitled “The Inventors”, Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin are discussed. My takeaway was the two of the most famous American luminaries (lol. Pun intended.) couldn’t have accomplished what they did without help. They needed outside inspiration:


Thomas Edison

The “Wizard of Menlo Park”, New Jersey, held the record for the most US patents until the early 2000’s: somewhere around 1,200.  What he is most known for, naturally, is creating the first long-lasting filament for the light bulb. This wasn’t done overnight. It took a team of about 200 people a long time to experiment with a variety of materials in order to come up with a winner. However, none of them were given recognition. Edison took sole credit for, and registered the patent for, everything created in his laboratory.

Edison, in turn, improved on Alexander Graham Bell’s invention, the telephone. Since Edison was hearing-impaired, as were Bell’s wife and mother, he was able to improve the clarity of the sound.

Benjamin Franklin

This founding father was one of the wealthiest men in America.  He had his fingers in so many pies; we couldn’t cover them all in one blog post. However, I’d like to concentrate on his journalism talents. Franklin worked in the newspaper business from his youth. In time, he owned 75% of all the newspapers in the country. He was obviously a powerful man who wouldn’t seem to need any assistance to accomplish his dreams.

From 1732-1758, Mr. Franklin published an annual almanac under the pen name, Poor Richard.  It’s speculated that people would no more leave their house without this almanac than folks today would leave their house without a GPS device. Readers looked to it for maxims, poetry, weather predictions, and astrology.

Many of the quotes from Poor Richard’s Almanac are celebrated today. The fact that the sayings weren’t original to the author is a lesser-known fact. Franklin was more like the editor, or curator. He updated and simplified passages from a variety of sources, some of them centuries old. Here are some examples:

“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”
“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.”
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
“Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.”
“Speak little, do much.”
“Fish and Visitors stink in 3 days.”

My Conclusion

Have you thanked your tribe lately?