I read somewhere that the word “self-evident” in the “Declaration of Independence” was a Ben Franklin’s substitution for a more articulated and complex number of words by Thomas Jefferson regarding Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. If you take a look at the manuscript of the Declaration you’ll find this correction hand-written above. Albeit many could say it was a minor contribution or so, I always considered the expression “self-evident” so brief and that powerful, that told me a lot about Benjamin Franklin himself.
I always said in this website that words from Warren Buffett are so powerful and full of wisdom that can teach by themselves a lot. So simple and clear, they are like his wisdom and humanity. Most of this “Spirit” is an American spirit, or the best part of the American Spirit. It gushed out from Franklin and it is present in people like Buffett and Munger today. Some words of Wisdom and the use of “Bon Mots” travelled through the centuries comfortably. They’re unbiased and they still work today. Buffett and Franklin have in common the same wonder: the facts about them are true.
The more you know about them and their lives the more you find surprising the adventure you get in. Both men of sagacity, both cunning negotiators, both always trying to avoid disputes and battles, but ready and strong if the fight would call. Franklin changed the history of this Country and Buffett changed the way we can approach and look at the entire world of Business, Money, Investment and Philantropy. Both of them teach us today timeless lessons about Honesty, Integrity, Rationality. Timeless examples of hard-working and commitment and the power of investing in Education, learning continuosly. And continuosly investing in yourself to acquire many sides of Wisdom in as many fields you feel you want to know.
And to complete (if ever possible) the picture, we must note how beloved and esteemed was Franklin’s character and reputation in America as well as in Europe. “A friend to human kind” to quote John Adams. His humour is characteristically American and I see how good can be to take example from the Buffett modern good humour, humbleness and good sense. Useful and needed more than ever in a ever-changing and “always on the move” world as the one we are living today.