Artie Marzig the Magnificent used to shake with laughter as he listened to a non-doer in any given event and say, "There are thousands and more thousands of excuses for failure, and there's always only one reason." When we consider how large a number is "thousands," and the fact that each time he was heard to say that sentence he'd emphasize the plurality of that big number. Which leads us to Benjamin Franklin, of course.
Benjamin Franklin .
That's worth thinking about. Since we can see a uniform approach by all great philosophers, what they term, "work backwards, live it forwards," Let's start by working this one in a backwards direction, okay? Excellent. How happy I am that you and I are on the same page.
When someone masters so many separate human tasks, as Ben Franklin did, that person becomes an effective role model when we are able to simply duplicate their words, duplicate their attitudes, duplicate their actions. Masters like Franklin may be unique, so your goal is not necessarily to be just like your role model; only to imitate the actions that renders them unique.
Well, what made him unique? Was it his prowess as an inventor? After all, he's the only person who ever invented something still used in its original form two hundred years after he invented it, the lightning rod on top of most houses and tall buildings. We actually credit Franklin for discovering electricity when he flew his kite with a skeleton key in his hand. For that matter, he invented the Franklin stove, and they're still pretty popular in various parts of the globe. Surely you remember from school that he created America's first major newspaper, and altered reporting forever. Of course, these inventions and many more were and remain great, but we're talking about currency here, in this case a U.S. hundred-dollar bill, which does make a statement all its own. How did he get that most coveted spot of all?
Ah! Maybe it was because he was America's first self-made millionaire, and for cash-ready, he happened to be the richest man in America, with virtually unlimited credit, which tell us a little something about his credibility, doesn't it?
One thing all of these facts and events have in common is that they happened in his lifetime.
His most special feature, function, thought and action, all one and the same, which should astonish us by itself, occurred after he died, and certainly causes me to vote for him being on the hundred dollar bill for as long as we have hundreds.
It's variously referred to as "Franklin's Strange Behest," "Franklin's Strangest Behest" and sometimes "Franklin's Last Behest." The latter, because it was purportedly a late-life addition to his final will and testament.
In a nutshell, he took 450 pounds, worth about $900 American dollars today, and put it in a bank account with instructions that the capital should not be touched, with interest on the sum to go to paying the way for boys to become printers' apprentices, and if there was anything left after two hundred years, it should be split between his two favorite cities, Philadelphia and Boston.
Generation after generation, dozens of poor kids were helped from poverty to self-sufficiency from those few hundred dollars. Despite all the bank, lawyers, judges, politicians and other assorted vultures trying to tamper with Franklin's wish, sanity and the law prevailed, and at the turn of the new millenium, the fund was dissolved and dispersed. Even after training and feeding so many kids, there were some seventeen million dollars left in the fund.
That's why I put a hundred dollars in the bank a few years ago, with simple, strict, written instructions to the bank not to allow any person, organization or institution touch that money for two hundred years. Not the capital, not the interest. Conservatively, it will double 25 times, perhaps more.
You see, as of this writing, we can identify the 471 men and women on this earth, one at a time, who own and/or control more than seventy percent of all the cash on earth. Don't fool yourself into thinking that number could be off by more than a few people. If you can add simple math, you'll see that the money owned or controlled by these nearly 500 people, is obviously going places it shouldn't be.
This is stated only and exclusively because more than 24,000 human beings have died of starvation, slowly and horridly, in the past 24 hours. So sorry, most of them were children. What a stupid way to die, now that, for the first time in history, we have more food than it would take to feed every human on earth with plenty left over.
When I see so many so-called stars spending millions of dollars to defend against crimes including murder and worse, and baseball players making more in a day than a teacher earns in a year, I just don't think it's difficult to predict that greed will still exist in 200 years, and we will still have plenty of poor people. So, let's get even with the rich people. It's true that you won't get credit for it until long after you're gone, and it will taste better because of it. Anyone who puts a hundred thousand dollars cash into the hands of ten thousand or more truly poor people is assured of being quite famous, not least for some of the astonishing events that will unfurl.
Finally, we come back to Artie Marzig when we consider another thousand human beings hitting the tenth and last stage of hunger and malnutrition from not having so much as a piece of bread. Perhaps more than any other wisdom or what I've come to call PowerGems that Artie Marzigliano was kind enough to drop in my lap, that sentence just keeps repeating:
"Thousands and thousands of excuses for failure, and only one reason."
No need to become the greatest salesman in the world, ala Artie Marzig.
If you want it, YOU can make it happen. Now we place the ball in your court. We both know that inadequate effort is the answer to that non-riddle. Question is, how do you personally, privately, and without ever discussing this with anyone you know, how do you really feel about another innocent child dying every minute.... oops, excuse me, several kids every minute?
Obviously, you're not in a position to feed them all.... least, not today you're not. So, how about a hundred?
You could do a document similar to the one below. It has worked for me, at more than one investment institution.
A hundred bucks. A billion to feed the hungry, okay, it'll probably be closer to five billion and three or four hundred million dollars, but, hey, who's counting?
How a 100-dollar bill becomes billions
The enclosed sum is tended to this bank under the following immutable conditions:
1) Neither the principle nor the interest will be touched for two hundred years.
2) Any reasonable and legally acceptable tax avoidance techniques that the bank undertakes to preserve the highest possible value of the account that these enclosed funds engender shall be absorbed by the bank in the interest of promoting and participating in the intent of this document and its successful execution. The bank's fee at the end of the two hundred years is to be one percent of the total at that time.
3) Should the bank be sold or be found insolvent, the bank agrees that the principal and interest will be paid to the nearest legitimate competing bank organization before any other active or dormant account within the bank's care on one day following the date that a decision has been arrived at by competent authority within or without the bank that such a sale, merger, or bank failure will take place or has taken place.
In the event of merger, the funds can remain provided that the chief operating officer of the combined organization warrants and guarantees that the full force of this document, and its clear intent, will be honored first and foremost among all accounts in the care or command of the bank. Should the bank decline to honor the intent of this fund, all accumulated funds will be transferred immediately to the nearest competing bank not owned by the same or affiliated corporation as the currently participating bank.
4) At the end of the two hundred year period, the bank is assigned up to one tenth of one percent of the total accumulated funds to be directed towards identifying the poorest one percent or ten thousand families of the populace within 250 miles of the bank who are living below the poverty line, whichever is greater. Recipients must be willing to state within a period of one year of this fund's first maturation, in writing or aloud to an appointee of the bank, how they intend to enjoy one third of their share and how they will invest the other two thirds for growth. This one tenth of one percent is in addition to the one percent ultimately assigned to the bank for banking fees and administration. Geographically moving the fund for purpose of manipulating ultimate distribution is considered a nullifying breach of this contract.
5) An additional ninety-seven percent of the total account is to be divided equally amongst the poorest two percent or ten thousand families, whichever is greater, that the bank has identified, and who have stated aloud or in writing their plans as stated above.
6) The bank's decisions regarding disbursement of these one-time payments are to be final, binding, and not subject to arbitration, provided that the bank actually releases each portion without restriction, to each individual within that two percent bracket of poverty by the end of one calendar year past the date of this fund's 200th anniversary.
7) The remaining accumulated funds are to be entrusted to the bank to repeat this process unto eternity.
Should any one or more of these conditions be unacceptable to or not honored by this bank, it is directed that the enclosed funds be sent intact with this document, to nearest legitimate banking competitor.
Now that shouldn't be too difficult. When you double your money 25 times, you hit a billion. In 200 years, there's a fair chance your hundred dollar bill will double 27 times, and still have a couple of years of phenomenal growth. Go ahead; alter history with a mere hundred-dollar bill. That's the fee you're invited to contribute for the 855,000 highly focused minutes invested in creating the the largest personal website that has ever been created. Nearly a million minutes.... one at a time, just for you, to bring you the shortcuts and PowerGems of masters, millionaires, champions and billionaires.
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