Being NSBE National Chairperson is a great endeavor, and I find that as with every journey, it’s best enjoyed with a good book. I recently started reading “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” I wanted to know how a man of such great persuasion came to be. I found it interesting that he, like most of us, took a route not very conventional at all.

Benjamin Franklin left his home in Boston at a very young age in search of opportunity. He found himself in Philadelphia, with almost nothing, and worked his way up to greatness. Reviewing his life, we see one thing that separated him from others, early on: he liked to read, and I mean a lot. He read and learned so much that it gave him favor in many occasions among educated and respected people. They were intrigued that such a humble, young person could yield so much intelligence. And to put things into context, books and information were not available then as they are today: there were no public libraries, and, of course, no Internet existed!

(As an aside, Franklin is credited with proposing the subscription library and was a major contributor to the beginnings of electrical engineering.)

You should read. What you read is up to you. As for me, I’m going to finish reading this book on Franklin, learn as much as I can from it, then read another.

Maybe I’ll search for a new thriller, or maybe a more engineering-related novel such as “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt. Hmm. I could even reread a book, such as “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, or my favorite book when I was growing up: “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Then again, I may just settle on another autobiography. I’ve been really interested in reading “A Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela. These choices remind me of the ending of a famous poem by Robert Frost:“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”

Read, and enjoy your summer.

Regards,

Calvin Allen Young
2012 - 2013 National Chairperson
National Society of Black Engineers

Being NSBE National Chairperson is a great endeavor, and I find that as with every journey, it’s best enjoyed with a good book. I recently started reading “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” I wanted to know how a man of such great persuasion came to be. I found it interesting that he, like most of us, took a route not very conventional at all.