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Jared’s Blog: Benjamin Franklin Essay

Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “The idle man is the miserable man.” Personally, I wonder if Franklin even knew that many idle people, because he was so busy inventing libraries and glasses and dime stores, when would he have even had time to chill with anyone, idle or otherwise?

But since I apparently have to write an essay agreeing or disagreeing with this statement, and not go off on “pointless tangents,” I’m going to go ahead and agree with Franklin on this one. I think the idle man is a lot less happy than someone who keeps busy.

And since I have to provide “arguments in support of my position,” here are a couple:

1. My brother spent almost two decades on death row, in a tiny cell. He and the other inmates were allowed a few books, but that’s it. No laptop, no video games, no TV.  Now, it’s just a guess on my part, but I think the Georgia Department of Corrections probably made that rule because being bored sucks, and if you’re on death row, they want your life to suck because, as far as they’re concerned, you’re a bad person.

2. Since my brother was released, he’s pretty much always doing something. Going up to Atlanta, learning to drive, renovating the kitchen, healing up from getting beaten half to death—he keeps pretty busy, you know? And again, he’s just spent 19 years doing almost nothing, so I figure, if that was super fun, he’d still be doing it. But he’s not, so I’m guessing that he finds keeping busy a lot more fun than the alternative.

3. I am starting to really straight up hate these stupid essays, and the even-stupider prompts that we’re supposed to write about. I spend more or less the whole week dreading having to do it. The only thing I like about these assignments is that every time I finish one, I momentarily no longer have to dread it anymore. So again, we see that Ben Franklin was a brainiac, because I am by far happier when I’ve actually done this stupid essay than when I’m just screwing around on the internet not doing anything and dreading having to get started.

4. Another smart thing about Ben Franklin is that, even living 200 years ago, he was familiar with the concept of getting an F, because if I fail English, I am going to be seriously miserable, especially when my mom finds out. So again, Franklin’s right—I am way happier actually doing these stupid essays than not doing them. Because if I do fail English, my mom will ground me for a month—no bicycle, no video games, no internet, no movies. And yeah, it’ll still be a lot nicer than death row, but, uh, no thanks.

So for all of these reasons, I agree with Benjamin Franklin that the idle man is the miserable man. In conclusion, I would like to say that I hope this essay demonstrates that I do not have “a bad attitude” and am making “a good faith effort to complete all classroom assignments both online and off” and therefore do not deserve to fail English.

Read more about Jared Talbot.