American antiques moments of the appplication of humor to make a point are many, and most good stories have been well repeated. My recent article about the application of humor by Dr. Benjamin Franklin at the family estate of his English patron,my ancestor Sir Francis, was well received, and went to more relevant sites, 1,165 than ever before. And I notice one of the sites was wise parenting, which,come to think of it (which I had not to this viewpoint), Sir francis was the understanding parent encouraging young Ben to show up the the stuffy head table groupies and see how they would feel.
In this brave situation Benjamin Franklin preceded in this mockery of King George, soon followed with far more eloquence young Tom Jefferson would soon express in his Declaration of Independence. In the case of Franklin he dared sail to England and in front of America's tormenters, make a mockery of the recent Edict of King George with his fictitious Edict from the King of Prussia, taking over England and the colonies. This would make light of the mad King and see how he might react by this mockery Franklin had made of the King's Edict, now posted in all town centers in America.
Franklin's Edict from the King of Prussia, which he had read to many of the King's Parliamentary Cabinet, at the home of his patron and Cabinet Minister Sir Francis to the disruption of many, had inverted King George's Edict to one against the people of Britain. The assembled gentlemen, red faced, embarrassed, forced to laugh at themselves, felt some understanding of how if felt to walk in American mocasins. However, word to the King of this treasonous mockery was as quick as a horse could be whipped quickly back to King George.
Dr. Franklin received a quick Royal Escort to the Tower for treason. So far, a mis fire of a prank to make a point. Point taken, unforseen re-action as well. If this was a fable, which it is not, Sir Francis would happen to be a favorite of the mad king, which he was, and was soon on one knee pleading for the forgiveness of his majesty. Sir Francis pleaded to a king slipping in and out of madness: dear old Ben has served the Empire well as Post Master General of North America, which is to say the United states or Colonies of America, and Canada, conquered by Britain only in 1759.
Dr. Franklin had been appointed by Sir Francis in 1760 to overview the full network of communication between Montreal to Savanah, at which he had excelled in seeing postal roads completed between all. His scientific discoveries were a boon to all mankind, he was not a rebel. Was too.
You can do this too. And now imagine how such a mind works, and recall this is one who almost killed himself playing with lightning, until he learned to harness those bolts from the size of the right metal rod at the high point (zap), and run a wire down the side of your house, your barn (zap), and play with how far and large the rod is that you pound (zap) into the ground. And then choose not to patent this (zap?) as a benefit to all the people of the world. How out of his mind and his thinking, his brilliant electrically charged mind and original approach, Dr. Franklin's viewpoint teaches us yet.
-Elevate, even exagerate, achievement.
-Mock an obvious folly but with a twist.
-If attacked, return their volley as a mirror.
-Never use cutting humor, disect theirs.
-Keep your humor light, fun, open to participation.
-Reflect your humor to show you row your own boat.
-You row merrily, and you attract others to you.
-As you deflect bitterness, fear, answers appear.
-And humor as with Mark Twain should elevate, not desecrate. Ever.Any more.
And whether you are in Paris, Persia or Panama, your good soul should see you through; but take care. Back in 1700's Philadelphia, Dr. Franklin's City of Brotherly Love, remember he escaped there as a boy after having taken one beating too often back in never forgiving Boston of Puritan prissiness, the rack, the whip. you can do this: think deeply of the times, and while they seem hard, you would have got by with less in the time of Dr. Franklin.
His Poor Richard's Almanac is about due for a re printing with it's humor, wit, and how to survive on a few pence a week. No wonder the pirates, starting with Sir Walter Raleigh, made ample all those Spanish dollars and cut them up as they were pure silver, so half a half a half gave your parrot some pieces of eight to squak about. And something for us to feel proud of: pirates in our blood, our American antiques history, our resilience, our humor.
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at