Lessons for a New Week

Benjamin Franklin was known for many things.  He wore numerous hats – he was a printer, scientist, philosopher, and statesman, amongst others.  Early in his life when he was still finding his way in the world he set upon a moral perfection project, aiming to achieve the highest level of moral perfection.  In order to do this he constructed a list of twelve virtues he thought desirable.  I think the following list provides an excellent guide to daily living.  So as we start a new week, I hope this list provides a useful lesson, or at the very least, food for thought.

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 good to others or yourself (i.e. waste nothing);

6) Industry: Lose no time; be always employed 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, clothes, or habitation;

11) Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable;

12) Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.


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