Thomas Jefferson is proud as punch. He's just finished writing the Declaration of Independence, and he thinks it sounds perfect. When the Constitutional Congress reads it the next day, the delegates aren't as impressed: in fact, they do nothing but complain!
Jefferson slumps in his chair, angry and embarrassed. His old friend, Ben Franklin, comes, pats his shoulder consolingly, and says, 'Tom, this put me in mind of a story.'
The story is The Hatmaker's Sign, about John Thompson, a hat maker in Boston. He's finally ready to open his own shop, and everything is set. The store is clean, painted, and well-stocked. Now all he needs is a sign. He make one that he thinks is suitable, even rather good, and is on the way to have it painted by the town sign painter. On his way, he encounters many friends and acquaintances, all of whom have their own suggestions about how the sign should be changed to make it better.
Will he take his friends' advice and change the sign? Or should he trust his instinct and leave it alone?
Date read: 6/1/2009
This inspiring book is based on a story that Benjamin Franklin told Thomas Jefferson to cheer him up after Congress critiqued his original version of the Declaration of Independence. The tale that Benjamin told was of the critiques that various people told a hatmaker, named John Thompson, regarding the sign that he created for his brand new hat shop. Responding to the critiques, John ended up editing out all of the words of his sign. Upon seeing the blank sign, the signmaker suggested great wordage to John.