The Law Offices of Kevin Jensen - January 2022

480.632.7373  January 2022

Inspired by Benjamin Franklin Thinking About How Much Has Changed

On Jan. 17, 1706, one of the world’s most influential people was born. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and for the next 85 years, he would go on to create a legacy that we still utilize today. As we approach what would be Franklin’s 316th birthday, I’m reminded of just how important he is to our history — and just how rapidly things change!

Franklin’s birthday is a poignant reminder of how far we have come, too. I often think back to how different my grandparents’ childhoods were compared to my own and my children’s childhoods. Just a few generations ago, my grandparents were still using horses and buggies as a mode of transportation, simply because it wasn’t easy to afford a vehicle. We didn’t think twice about owning a car when I was growing up just over half a century later.

Franklin was a monolithic figure for his time, and that was quite rare. He wasn’t a ruler or a president — in fact, as a founding father, he would help establish what we know as the U.S. presidency — but he was known worldwide for his writing and scientific studies. Think about that: In a time without the internet, one man could be so well known across the globe just for his writings and thinking. It speaks to how wise he was. Many of us know about Franklin's kite experiment, which demonstrated how electricity works, but did you know there are so many other inventions for which we have Franklin to thank? Because of his ingenuity, we now have modern libraries, and the fire department system has saved countless lives since its invention. Franklin was also integral in printing and free press, too. Plus, his wood stove helped create better heat sources in homes. The list could go on, and it’s easy to see why Franklin was a true renaissance man. He had his hand in nearly everything that happened in the nearly nine decades he was alive. Many of you know that I’m quite the history buff, so it’s not easy for me to say which specific time period or person I admire the most. However, while I’m a huge fan of American history in all its forms, I have to say Franklin is someone I really admire. If I had to choose a favorite person from history, he would easily make it to the top. He was knowledgeable, well-spoken, innovative, and from what I read, funny, too. It’s hard not to be fascinated by him.

And — while it makes me feel old — it’s crazy to think about how much has changed from when I was a kid. I can remember when all the phones in our house were hooked up to the wall and had a cord. If you were hoping for any semblance of privacy on a phone call, you had to pull the cord as far as it could go around the corner. And even then, that was if you could remember a person’s phone number. If not, you had to skim through the phone book that hung on the wall. Today, I barely even remember phone numbers. My cellphone does it for me. The world was completely changed when the iPhone was invented. By then, many people had cellphones, but these were really only used for calling and the occasional text. With the iPhone, we learned this little device could conjure up information in seconds, snap photos, connect us to others, and make phone calls and send texts. Heck, that’s more than the first Apple computer could do, which I hate to admit, but I do remember using in high school. Innovation is a powerful thing, and we are better off because of people like Benjamin Franklin, who look at our world and say, “How can we make this better?” Be sure to celebrate that this month.

480.632.7373 1 -Kevin Jensen

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