Another Day Will Tell
Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. . . . However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine. I am, as ever, thine to serve thee.
—Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth
Franklin’s warnings are special, like the clever caution here. Seldom predictable, always insightful and resourceful, Franklin reaches across 300 years to you.
How does he do this? Yes, keep your old coat on, my friends, he suggests, for it is better to keep than to waste. Be prepared for many to ignore the warnings before us, but view that as a competitive advantage to you. This could make some of our shared future quite chilling, while it offers you a new way to wealth.
I consider Franklin to be a friend for several reasons. While so many squander value, he compounded it for me. And although I normally like my friends alive, his sharp attacks on waste, the ways he outmaneuvered the average knuckleheads during his life, and his smart pleas for us to be industrious and frugal resonate in me like a Beethoven symphony. His way of speaking is about shaping our way in the near future, about sailing ...