As a tour guide in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I talk more about Benjamin Franklin than anyone. This polymath of a Founding Father who signed all four documents that went into the making of the United States of America, became our first international celebrity, first millionaire, started our first public library, first hospital, first fire department, first learned society, first university, and invented a bunch of stuff, including the swim fins, odometer, lightning rod, bifocals, armonica, and charted the Gulf stream. He also received five honorary university degrees, three of which were Doctorates – one from Harvard, one from Yale, and one from Oxford. The natural response from my tourist is, “Wow! He was so smart!” As a guy who only ever attended elementary school for just two years, Franklin’s formal education cannot explain his brain’s ability.
Since the age of 12, Benjamin Franklin spent 30 years working as a colonial printing composer. This job, which Franklin claimed being “uncommonly quick at”, provided lots of opportunity for mirror reading, since metallic letters in a colonial printing press are all mirror-cast.
After a workday filled with mirror reading, Franklin would then go home and read books in the traditional direction. According to neuroscience, this practice of mirrored and traditional reading together would have made Franklin’s brain abnormally symmetric, due to the symmetric blood flow and oxygen required for both right-to-left and left-to-right reading. Additional neurological changes include a thickening of the brain’s corpus callosum and the growth of new neurons, synapses, glial cells, and gray matter, similar to what Albert Einstein’s brain possessed at autopsy.
Another abnormally symmetric brain would have been that of Leonardo da Vinci, who wrote both left-handed mirrored and right-handed traditional – a completely LEARNABLE practice for which the human body is mechanically designed. Da Vinci, just like Franklin, also lacked a formal education.
In 1779, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay to educators titled, A Petition of the Left Hand. This essay creatively states that both hands are designed for equal use and that we should teach kids to develop them equally. This was also the same year that the school which Franklin started 30 years beforehand became the University of Pennsylvania.
Our 3rd U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, may have been inspired by this essay and his close relationship with Franklin to spend the last 40 years of his life developing dual-dominance (aka, ambidexterity) after an initial need for physical rehabilitation from a broken right hand.
The practice of developing dual-dominance produces profound physical and mental benefits, including:
– High-precision balance
– Heightened spatial awareness
– Improved memory recollection
– Creativity in art and concept development
– Improved athletic, musical, and fine motor skills
– Increased reaction time and hand-eye coordination
– Endosteroidogenesis (natural, internal creation of steroids)
– Prevention/Onset delay of Alzheimer’s disease
– New movement ability
– Increased longevity
– Weight loss
All of this and more is presented in my book, BIG3MMD: History’s Ambidextrous and the Benefits of Mirror Movement Development. It is the world’s first biscriptal book (written in both traditional and mirrored text), so you can engage the brain-growing, Benjamin Franklin practice of mirror reading.