Benjamin Franklin was a smart man. Not only was he an inventor, but he also wrote beautiful, meaningful words. One of my favorite sayings of Ben's is: "Glass, china and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended."

As I approach my 70th year, I've learned a few things about life. One of those is – Ben was right. It doesn't matter how much you love a glass or a dish. Once it's been cracked, you have to throw it away. Not only are you afraid of getting glass slivers in your drink, but also you're worried about the ultimate crack that sends a flood of liquid or food down your front.

And, when someone has done something stupid at a young age, people remember. When that person is old and gray, someone will still recall the offense. Escaping your past is virtually impossible. Try as you might to be a better person, the haunting image of your transgression hovers overhead.

So, dear Ben Franklin, what else can you teach us?

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Fish and visitors smell in three days.

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.

A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.

Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

If you have never seen the movie "1776," you have missed out on a tremendously entertaining film. Not only is the music excellent, but also, the actors convince you that they really are the historical figures they portray.

My favorite character in "1776" is Benjamin Franklin. His wit is sharp and his patriotism is unrivaled. No wonder America is such a great country. It had men like Benjamin Franklin at its birth.

(IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH798@SC.RR.COM [1] OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.)