Thursday, December 17, 2015

Self- Reliance Tip of the Week - Self- Reliance "The Gymnast"

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The home of Paul Reevere where he raised most of his 16 children

Several months ago my family was watching "American Ride" on This show takes you all over the United States and shares American History the way you've never seen it before. One episode talked about the Freedom Trail in Boston. We got the itch and saved so we could walk the Freedom Trail. It was amazing. 

We explored nearly half of the two some-odd mile trail with a tour guide who was dressed in period clothing and an amazing way of making history come alive. He played a man named "Isaiah Thomas" who (in real life) on July 14th, 1776 read the public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Worcester, Massachusetts. We learned some amazing things about Boston and American History. 

Did you know that "The Midnight Ride of Paul Reevere" is grossly inaccurate? Our tour guide shared with us the most amazing and hilarious story where the truth really was stranger than fiction. I won't go into the details of what really did happen, but I will say that Longfellow really needed to check his facts before writing a poem that would be timelessly incorrect...I guess facebook isn't the only place that happens. 

I would like to share with you what Paul Reevere really DID do. He was an incredible businessman who had to be close to chameleon-like when it came to providing for his 16 children. Here are some of the jobs he held when the economy would shift and he had to change things up: 

+ GOLD/ SILVERSMITH : This was the trade he learned from his father.
+ DENTIST : (he used his experience with as a silver smith to make teeth); he was also may have been the first to use forensic dentistry to identify the remains of his friend Dr. (Gen) Joseph Warren several months after the Battle of Bunkerhill because he had made some teeth for him that Reveere had wired into Warren's mouth.
+ ENGRAVER: He used the skills he had learned in engraving silver, he engraved tea sets. copper plates and lead metal mastheads (for the printing press). He was able to also use this gift to be a little outspoken and make political cartoons. 
+ BELLMAKER : After the Revolutionary War, he again wanted to change things up again. H decided he would make bells and made over 900 before he would be done with that business venture. 
+ COPPER ROLLER: His experience with the bell foundry gave him the idea to convert an old steel mill to manufacture copper sheeting. He covered the dome of the "New State House" in copper and had great success with this business...that he started at the age of 65. 

Paul Reevere wasn't the only one to have to do this type of "shifting" in order to provide for his family. A whole generation earlier the father of Benjamin Franklin, Josiah Franklin had come from a long line of blacksmiths in England. When he immigrated, there were too many blacksmiths in Boston, so he created a business making soap (woot woot) and candles to provide for his 17 children. 

It might be easy to assume that if one person goes from "job to job" that those talents cannot be utilized in another field. The only thing we can take with us when we leave this life is the knowledge we've gained while we were here. When we change things up a little bit, we can find hidden talents we didn't know even existed. When we open opportunities for us to be more a gymnast...we open doors for greater opportunity for learning and blessing not only our lives, but the lives of many others.

If you can ever make it to Boston and walk the "Freedom Trail" you'll come back with a greater sense of the sacrifices that these brave people paved for us, If you ever do get to go, make SURE to get "Isaiah Thomas" to be your tour guide, because he was AWESOME!!! 

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