Essay on Steeping in One's Shoes

Submitted By trreilly
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Stepping in one’s shoes
Benjamin Franklin and Samson Occom use literacy in order to further their goals. Occom uses literacy as a communal goal and Ben Franklin uses it as a self-fulfilling tool. Together, they are extremely diligent and determined to surpass the difficulties that lay before them. Deprived of many fortunes, they found the motivation to enhance themselves as students of literacy. Although their motives may be different, literacy furthered their realization of their goals and persuaded others to follow.
Occom stresses the importance of the written word through his autobiography to help him achieve his goals. Occom states, “I had a stronger desire still to learn to read the word of God” to ultimately act as a tool to spread Christianity (405). Occom studied literacy in hope to improve the lives of Native Americans. Occom states, “If I could once learn to read I would instruct the poor children in reading” (405). This shows that Occom has a desire to help others develop their skills in literacy. Occom makes a contribution to literacy by attempting to create a college for Native Americans. This is significant because Occom is determined to use literacy to help spread Christianity among Native Americans.
Compared to franklin, Occom offers a different importance on religion. Occom states, “I was born a Heathen and brought up in Heathen”(404). Occom declares himself as “heathen,” which is one who declares one self as not devoted to Muslim, Christianity, or Jewish faith. This demonstrates dissimilarities between a modern English and Native American religious preference. As an English man one can assume that Christianity is their devotion. However, for Occom as a Native American, he needs religion in order to accomplish his goals. Occom states, “ After I was awakened and converted, I went to all the meetings I could come at”(405). Occom emphasizes the importance of his religious devotion on a daily basis. This shows that as a Native American he must constantly show his devotion as a Christian.
Although Occom showed his devotion as a minister he was unfairly treated when he peruses funding for creating the Wheelock Indian Charity School. Occom states that he was paid nearly less than a fourth of what a normal missionary would have made during this period (409). Therefore it makes a plausible explanation why he had to devote himself entirely to religion, in order seek approval from the English men to receive adequate funds. Similar to Occom, Franklin also believes in a god, but in a different view.
Benjamin Franklin’s self-fulfilling motives were contagious to many Americans. He wrote in a way that reflected on his consciousness determination that would later serve as a model for many citizens to do the same. When Franklin asked a close friend Vaughan for advice, he urged Franklin to print the history of his life for many to follow. Vaughan refers to Franklins work as an “example of self-education”. Franklin demonstrates this by stating, “ Reading was the only amusement I allowed my self” (362). This demonstrates his persistent determination in order to excel in his full potential. Franklin’s autobiography became a model for those who wished to achieve their self-fulfilling goals and become part of what is known as the “ American Dream”. TRANSITION
Benjamin Franklin demonstrates that he believes in god, but not in the