What does Benjamin Franklin mean by "...since you are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour"?

Jamie 09/17/2018. 4 answers
Education & Reference Quotations

I googled it and found an identical question on Quora, to which someone gives the following answer:

"My thought is: If you don't know what you're doing right now, don't waste more time spinning your wheels without a clue. Figure out what you want and do it."

I get the general gist of it;...

4 Answers


Stella 09/21/2018.

By "you are not sure of a minute", I think he means that nobody has any guarantee of any time remaining to them. It's a recognition that life is very uncertain. Every minute could literally be our last.


Jamie 09/21/2018.

Thank you all for answering.


Anonymous 09/21/2018.

Don't waste time?


j 09/21/2018.

Work when fruitful ---> leisure.

If one has not secured leisure, one ought recognize the power of now and capitalize on it--carpe horam.

There's a touch of Hume's questioning of causation in Ben Franklin's quote; likely Franklin knew of Hume's work; Ben Franklin was born about 5 years before Hume, and enjoyed a long lifespan.

Related: "The Power of Now;"

"Man, Master of His Destiny;"

"The Path of the Higher Self."


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