March 12, 2009

The little sacrifice of vanity

Benjamin Franklin, whatever else you can say about him, possessed a lot of social intelligence which he used to great effect in pursuing his various interests.

Yet another example of this can be found in how he approached gaining support for a lending library. At first, when he solicited subscriptions, he presented the library as his own idea (which it kind of was). But...

The objections and reluctances I met with in soliciting the subscriptions, made me soon feel the impropriety of presenting one's self as the proposer of any useful project, that might be suppos'd to raise one's reputation in the smallest degree above that of one's neighbors, when one has need of their assistance to accomplish that project.

From then on,

I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of a number of friends, who had requested me to go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading. In this way my affair went on smoothly, and I ever after practis'd it on such occasions; and, from my frequent successes, can heartily recommend it. The present little sacrifice of vanity will be amply repaid.

According to Lao Tzu,

...the sage works without recognition.
He achieves what has to be done without dwelling on it.
He does not try to show his knowledge.

CLASS WARFARE? Jim Hightower thinks conservatives don't have a clue about it.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, here's another take on it.

GOING TO WASHINGTON. El Cabrero just finished and highly recommends Van Jones' book The Green Collar Economy. I just found out he's on his was to DC to work with the Obama administration. Here's an interview.

FORECLOSURES were up in Feb. over last year's levels.

HEALTH CARE. A business group issued a report that shows the US health care system is a liability.


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