Thursday, March 29, 2012

74. Franklin may have got it wrong!

Don't get me wrong if I may say that 'none of us is really all that healthy anyway'. Even if there are those who vouch to be so, no way can they claim to be wealthy as well as wise too. If these three attributes rarely occur in combination what can one make of Benjamin Franklin's two century old statement - early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. Milkmen and newspapermen have all been up early for better part of their lives and owe an explanation from Franklin for them neither being wealthy nor wise!

Each one of us have been victim of early morning parental howling but I for one haven't carried forward such a family tradition. Conversely, I take little offence to the young guy who sleeps till late despite knowing well that early to bed makes the evening shorter and the mornings longer. Many researchers have now taken a counter position and argue: early to bed, early to rise will likely make you anything but wise. Celebrated cartoonist and wit James Thurber has amended it to `healthy, wealthy and dead.'

In reality, however, there is no evidence to support the Franklin or Thurber hypotheses that sleep habits dictate health, wealth or wisdom, either for the good or the bad. In fact, I have heard some say that 'early to bed, early to rise makes others suspicious' (of you). For many others `early to bed, early to rise depends on their television schedule'. The most convincing argument, however, comes from the young guy who said: 'early to bed, early to rise and your girlfriend starts dating other guys'. Please archive Franklin for good if the matter is as serious as that!