Benjamin Franklin Quote

EP 16: Benjamin Franklin famous quote “Most people die at 25, we just don’t bury them until they are 70”

In this episode of the Merkol Podcast, we analyzed the Benjamin Franklin Famous Quote. The quote goes:

“Most people die at 25, we just don’t bury them until they are 70”

Benjamin Franklin Famous Quote
Benjamin Franklin famous quote "Most people die at 25, we just don't bury them until they are 70"
Benjamin Franklin famous quote

Who is Benjamin Franklin?

The below content is taken as excerpts from Benjamin Franklin History Society

Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in the City of Boston, to a middle-class family. He was the 15th of 17 children and the youngest son. He rose to the top of society with only two years of formal education. He was, nevertheless, grounded in reality and constantly acknowledged his past.

One of his first public endeavors was to establish a neighborhood watch and gather funds to pave and clean Philadelphia streets. His initiatives become increasingly ambitious with time.

Franklin also established the Pennsylvania Hospital, which provided care to those who could not pay it, as well as institutions for the mentally ill, a lending library, a fire department, and insurance. Long before governments began to give services to their subjects, this was the case.

Benjamin Franklin was a scientist as well. He established that lightning was electricity by flying a kite, and he created a rod to keep it from hitting structures. He invented bifocal glasses, documented the Gulf Stream, developed a clean-burning stove, and suggested hypotheses on how the common cold spreads.

As a journalist, his most important journalistic influence was his brother James who is considered the first fighter for journalistic freedom in America. Franklin wrote:

“Printers are educated in the belief that when men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public, and that when Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter”.

Benjamin Franklin

This legacy is framed and hung on many newsroom walls in America.

He was opposed to slavery as a system. He had prejudices against African Americans for most of his life, but he eventually realized that they were “in every regard equal” to him.

The usage of Benjamin Franklin’s network of business and social contacts is crucial to his genius. He used his network to advance his various interests, which ranged from science to politics to business and journalism.

Franklin, unlike the other Founding Fathers, started off as a craftsman with only two years of formal education and built his own fortune. He was a self-made man who exemplified American social mobility via thrift and hard work.

What does the Benjamin Franklin famous quote mean?

Finish your undergraduate studies at 21, do a post-grad or enter the workforce, 2 -3 years to settle into the job, make yourself critical to the team and the company which provides you a secure job. Now you are 25 and you are very comfortable and you feel settled.

Then what? People who feel settled at 25 will let life’s motions run – marriage, kids, kids studies, kids marriage, old age, death.

They have literally stopped living at 25 when they first get the idea of feeling settled. I am not saying that feeling settled is wrong, but staying there is a mistake.

It’s not like the people who are settled don’t have any dreams in life, they do have lots of dreams, but they don’t pursue them as they are comfortable in this position. They are basically scared of change.

In life, there is no such thing as perfection. That’s because perfection implies that there is nothing left to improve on.

You go ask any person who is pretty old if they would change anything in their life, almost everyone says something in the lines of ‘I should have taken more risk in life’ or ‘I played it too safe, wish I didn’t’. Don’t be one of them. This is not just career-wise, it should be the norm of how you live your life.

Here are some amazing words of wisdom from Vijay Sethuapthi on the same topic:

Life is a collection of experiences, how would you experience different things if you are literally scared of change.

So if I am in any position in life, how do I go about growing, seeking change? The answer is Self Destruction.

Self-destruction is the answer

This is taken from ‘Fight Club’. Here is the scene where this dialogue comes up in the movie:

If you are growing from any point in life, then that growth can only completely happen if you let go of some things in the past. As you grow, you get new ideas, a new way of thinking, a new way of looking at life. You cannot adopt all these new ideas if you keep clinging back to your past. You need to evolve.

This evolution is what is perceived as self-destruction. It is the harsh elimination of aspects hindering our progress forward. Although controlled self-destruction is difficult and painful, it is the road to genuine improvement as individuals.

For example, If someone says they are good and they don’t have anything in their life that needs to be let go of, then it is their ego and self-pride talking. You are too preoccupied with who you are that you do not realize what you can be. At this point, it is in the best interests of the individual to let go of the ego and call a spade a spade.

Another example, take an alcoholic who drinks every day. That person making a decision to drink weekly once and not daily is an act of self-improvement. But does this solve the entire situation? Absolutely not.

That person needs to look into his life and his relationships and figure out what is prompting the drinking in his life. He needs to figure those and negate/destroy those trigger points from his life. This act of self-destruction will enable to guy to overcome drinking and grow as a person.

Like this, we should keep analyzing our lives and keep growing by destroying aspects of our lives that pull us down. We should not become an example for this Benjamin Franklin quote. Don’t stop growing at 25, life is a journey that involves growth and the destruction of the past is a part of it.

People have a lot of self-doubts. You can be multiple things in life, you can try multiple hats in life. You can be an investment banker and a baker, you can be a software developer and be a children’s book writer. Anything you want to be.

Try something new because anybody can live with the feeling of failure as it is a construct of the mind, but no one can live with the feeling of regret of not doing something because you cannot get back the time.

Whenever you are confused in life or you do not have a meaning at this point in your life, ask yourself this one question,

How big would you dream, if you knew you couldn’t fail?

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The only thing stopping us is ourselves.

Life is an experience, just go ahead and take on the most exciting challenge that you see in front of yourself at any point in life and go for it with all your heart.

Life will not do anything for you, it is up to you to make life magical. Take one step in the right direction and you are halfway there to making your dreams come true.


By refusing to change you’re refusing to grow as a person. And to stop growing is the equivalent of death.


I have recorded a podcast on this Benjamin Franklin Quote. But it is in Tamil. If you know the language, then please do listen to this. Do let me know if you like it. Here is the link:

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