Inventing Simple Things

Man makes all his first inventions in the most complex way possible, and it takes him years before he can hit on the simple and obvious way of doing things.
–Peter McArthur

Have you paused lately to say a prayer of thanks for Arial and Times New Roman? 🙂

(Reblogged from Swallow in the Wind 02/16/13)


Ben Franklin’s Bright Idea

According to one biographer, when Ben Franklin wanted to promote the idea of street lighting for the city of Philadelphia, he didn’t just make speeches to enthuse his fellow citizens about what a great idea it would be. He installed a long bracket in front of his home and hung up an attractive lantern. This he always kept spotless and lit it every evening as twilight fell.

Passers-by could see his cheerful light from quite a distance and this one bright spot in an otherwise dark street beckoned to them. The glow silently recommended to everyone walking along the sidewalk what a great idea it was to see where they were stepping. As time went on the citizens of the town were sold on the idea of street illumination.

We could all take a lesson from Ben’s example. There are a zillion people who offer brilliant suggestions, but if we can think of something that will brighten the way for folks who pass by, let’s do it.