â€œSpeak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybodyâ€
– Benjamin Franklin
It’s funny how they tell you about Franklin’s inventions in the physics classes, but ignore his timeless lessons. Ten years ago name Benjamin Franklin was mostly “a scientist” for me. After reading books of different topics I’ve come to realize that Franklin left much else behind him besides inventions or politics. I’ve yet to read his autobiography, but will do as soon as I’ll find a copy.
Nevertheless, there’s a quote by Benjamin Franklin: “Speak ill of no man” that I’ve sort of taken as one of my personal guidelines. When practicing this guideline – saying nothing bad about others – I believe I’ve really enhanced my own life. This does not mean that I would blindly accept everything that others say or would always agree with others. This simply means that I won’t be saying “ill of no man” (nor woman). If I have something to criticize I can do that, without need to insult others. When there’s need to congratulate others, I do that.
I think there’s enough rants, complaints, people calling others “idiots”, insults in the world already. I don’t believe that much progress is made with angry insults or counter insults. They only generate tension and make people defensive. Instead, by showing good will towards others you’ll notice the others putting effort doing the same you as well. This kind of positive circle draws attention from negative insults (which has little or no productive value at all – at least nothing that couldn’t be done in other ways) and brings a new positive attitude that benefits everybody.