I Believe

Hillary - Wexfordp, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in today’s modern world, Americans put much emphasis on ways of achieving success and accomplishment in an aggressive society. For instance, Ben Franklin’s intellect, scientific reasoning power, and hard work ethic are attributes that became quite evident during the Age of Reason, and are represented within our lives today.

Franklin’s adage, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” exemplifies the standard in which he lived by. As seen in our modern-day cities today, Franklin’s spirit is alive and well. The streets are full of business people hustling to their destinations early in the morning, working long hours, and leaving their offices extremely late at night. People do not have time for idol chit-chat among each other. Instead, people can be seen walking down the streets or sitting in buses and subways, while talking on their blackberries, making important business decisions at anytime of the day. This urban society no longer focuses on individuals, but on a mass of people clamoring together to find faster and more efficient ways to do business. Franklin believed that successful people had to work a little harder than their competitors. He was an industrious man, much like the people we observe in our working world today.

When observing our education system and the expectations it has on our young people today, we can sometimes see success taken to an extreme. Franklin achieved many great things through his devotion and his desire to learn and use reasoning and logic to find answers. He believed that “the door of education is never shut.” Although hard work should be something we strive for, do we know what our limits are? Today the education system requires us to not only do the best of our ability, but to go above and beyond our capabilities. Schools are no longer concerned with the individuals, but with how our system measures up as a whole.

In today’s world, our society is similar to a dark shadow. We live in this shadow as we follow the endless patterns of perfection and competition. We see the reflection of light ahead, but have no yet realized where we must draw the line to step into the light and out of the shadow. We need to take a step back and somehow find an ideal ground utilizing the great gifts of Ben Franklin and apreciating the “living deliberately” mindset. Hopefully, we will one dya realize that we have reached as far as we should go before reaching a breaking point, with stress overtaking our lives.