Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ben Frankin's Thirteen Virtues

When I was reading up on my last blog post (see my mastery of vocabulary and thought below) I came upon the Thirteen Virtues that Benjamin Franklin created as a young man. I am trying to better myself all around, and could think of no better starting point than the one's Old Ben came up with. And yes, those of you who know me know that I have a long way to go. But it's a good starting point, I think.

Keep in mind, Franklin came up with these when he was just 20 years old. Oh, if I could only be one-tenth as brilliant as Ben, even being that I am 50% older now than he was then. (The spelling errors are his not mind. Don't forget I'm a brilliant speller.)

1. "TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
2. "SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
3. "ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
4. "RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
5. "FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
6. "INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."
7. "SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
8. "JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
9. "MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
10. "CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation."
11. "TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."
12. "CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
13. "HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates."


bojangles said...

As Ben got older, he became even more wise. To wit:

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He who is content. Who is that? Nobody. "

And it's pure cheez and seen everywhere these days, but:

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to prosper."

No doubt true, but it kinda flies in the face of his whole temperance ideal, some might think. And it beats the hell out of that goddam "beer...helping ugly people hook up since back in the day" bullpuckey. Either way, he was a pretty wise dude.

Bill said...

Oh and Bojangles, just imagine if Old Ben had had Middle Ages or Dogfish Head or Victory or even Magic Hat back then. I almost feel bad for the guy, probably drinking Olde Milwaukee.