Saturday, 15th September 2012

Virtues by Benjamin Franklin

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Habits

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many roles – printer, author, philosopher, scientist, inventor, diplomat and politician to name a few. One of the most bold and arduous projects he undertook was to arrive at moral perfection. He wanted to live without committing any fault at any time and to conquer all that either natural inclination, custom or company might lead him into. As he knew, or thought he knew, what was right and wrong, he did not see why he might not always do the one and avoid the other.

Based on his readings he created the following list of virtues, taken from the book “The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”:

  • Temperance – eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
  • Silence – speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation
  • Order – let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time
  • Resolution – resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
  • Frugality – make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing
  • Industry – lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
  • Sincerity – use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly
  • Justice – wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty
  • Moderation – avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries, so much as you think they deserve
  • Cleanliness – tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation
  • Tranquillity – be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable
  • Chastity
  • Humility – imitate Jesus and Socrates

Living life based on these virtues is not an easy task but it will surely help you to become a better person. Some will be more challenging to some people and other people will find difficulties with others, because all of us are different. In the end I believe that not only will you benefit, but it will enhance the quality of your life and your relationships with those around you.

Follow the practical way,

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