Trey Hill Photographs

the world is exploding

Posted in personal by Trey on September 9, 2009

toward the end of last month i was in Houston (or Boyd or Princeton or Dallas or in the office in my house in the suburbs just north of Dallas) with a to-do list too long to actually get all things done when it occurred to me that i hadn’t blogged in a month.

i have excuses. we all have excuses. but i came across something today that stopped me in my tracks and forced my hand.

sometimes we’re left without an excuse.

for what it’s worth, i believe that that Maria Kalman was right about the 19th century:


and the thing is – it was exploding with inventiveness and they hadn’t even gotten to the automobile or the airplane or open heart surgery or cloned sheep or broadcast or video or the internet or twitter or video on twitter. i sincerely believe that the world is – today as in 1838 – exploding with inventiveness.

i have to think that Ben Franklin – a well documented bad-ass – occasionally found himself with to-do lists that were too long to actually do. but that didn’t stop him:


…a little thing known as the United States of America.


he believed in doing good & still found a way to invent more things than any other person in this country ever has – and he slept seven hours a night. all without computers!


hopefully, at this point, you feel like me – utterly without excuse. Ben Franklin set the bar pretty dang high. or, as one brilliant comment on the blog from which i was first learned of this NY Times piece put it – “For his time [Ben Franklin was] a renaissance man. For our time, given the tools and opportunities we all have, he’d be a certified legend.”

let me leave you with a simple benediction:

go forth. make a chart. set a goal. read Maria’s piece, “Can Do”, & be inspired to stop sitting on your A doing absolutely nothing. invent something wonderful. and tonight, ask yourself “What good have I done today?” then smile just a little when the answer is finally an admirable one.


2 Responses

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  1. severnyproductions said, on September 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    true, true

  2. Steve said, on October 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    “For our time, given the tools and opportunities we all have, he’d be a certified legend.”

    I sometimes wonder if all of the tools and opportunities we have just lead to distractions and lack of focus. If Ben F. was doing his thing nowadays, would he have invented Twitter or would he have been so distracted by it that his net productiveness would have been impacted negatively?

    How much *more* would I be able to accomplish if I lived in the late 1700’s? How much less distraction did that era provide? Reading, music and conversation were the Network TV, iTunes and Facebook of the day. So much quieter, slow-paced and personal…with time in between breaths to think.

    I guess the question to ask is this: Do we have more Ben Franklins in 2009 than we had in 1779? I’m not so sure. I, for one, am happy that our Ben was around just when he was and I think a lot of us should take a look at his example and learn something about pace and priority from it.

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