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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Benjamin Franklin Invented "Paying It Forward"

Ben Franklin and "Pay It Forward"
This totally blows my mind, but Benjamin Franklin essentially invented the concept of "paying it forward," as we know it.

In a letter to Benjamin Webb, Franklin wrote this:
"I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.
Although he was the son of an impoverished candle-maker, Ben grew to become one of the wealthiest men in America—yet he never forgot his roots and constantly strove to better society. He founded America's first hospital, organized the world's first fire department, and dedicated the remaining years of his life to the abolition of slavery. It truly amazes me how prodigiously charitable this man was.

I challenge you to honor Ben's legacy by "paying it forward" today. Do a good service for someone in need—because the world is in desperate need of goodness.