Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, he was an inventor, politician, scientist, writer and had many other qualifications. Today’s article is not about his life but our attention is more on the 13 virtues he listed back in 1700s which are still tremendously relevant in the 21st century.
13 amazing virtues to develop by Benjamin Franklin
Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Everything you do, do it with moderation. Moderation in the indulgence of appetites or passions, learn to voluntarily restraint from things that aren’t good for you. Temperance produces coolness and clearness of mind and develop self discipline, guard against bad habits and perpetual temptations.
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation. Learning and knowing when to keep quiet is as important as knowing when to speak. You do not always have to have something to say, to justify or explain yourself, to give your opinion or participate in conversations which don’t reflect who you are. If you have nothing to say that could positively benefit yourself or others, it is okay and important to keep quiet.
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. Nothing can never be done in disorder, doing everything at the same time, over committing yourself and trying to multi task aren’t great ideas everything has to have their own places in your life. When is the time to take care of your business? Of your work? of your garden? your house? your car? your other commitments? This doesn’t only stop to materials things and businesses, it can go as far as your relationships with others, your priorities in life or how you spend your time.
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. be firmly determined to accomplish the goals and dreams you have. You need to overcome yourself to overcome your circumstances, no one can do that for you but you. When you resolve to do something, you have to do it, it create a good habit and it build and maintain self discipline
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing. Today living frugally is seen as old fashion and silly, people rather show off “FLEX” with materials things they got on credit just to impress each others and stay up to date with the trend. However, if you wish to remain economically and emotionally independent, frugality is a virtue to develop. Live within your means and avoid making expenses you can live without. It is important to learn to postpone your wants until you can afford them without getting yourself into debts. Live frugally.
Lose no time; be always; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. It is in the human nature to want to feel useful and have a sense of purpose. You have gift and talents that should be shared with others and make this world a better place, fulfill your full potential and make every hour count. It is amazing how much you can done if you are always doing.
Use no hurtful deceit, think innocently and justly and if you speak, speak accordingly. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Listen with an open mind, hear with sympathy, refrain yourself from judging and when you have to response, be sincere and helpful. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Wrong one by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. A man has the duty to not only do what is right but also making what is right known to the world. Practice justice in all the areas of your life, it is important to develop knowledge of the rights and responsibilities that govern your family, your community or your nation. A way you can practice justice in your personal life is standing up for someone who is being abused emotionally, physically or mentally by others. Stand up for what is just.
Avoid extremes, forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. Moderation balance all qualities of life and helps people cherish those qualities.
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation. Cleanliness makes you feel good, it keeps your mind clear, make your life organized and it is good for your own image. Learn to be clean and practice it with good habits such as making your own bed when you wake up, take some pride in your appearance when you see that your shirt is missing a button do something about it, when you feel good, you look good.
Be no disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable. There are unavoidable issues we face in life but how we respond to them remain our choice. We have to develop the ability to be more attentive, to remain calm and meditate more as not every situation requires your attention. When you feel more calm and tranquil, you bring that tranquility in all the relationships you have.
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. Sex was once seen as a sacred mystery but it has became like another product that can be bought or sold. Having cheap sex is seen as a norm on today’s culture, people sleep around to satisfy their ego, to show strength, for the sake of doing it, by curiosity etc. There are countless wrong reasons why people engage into sexual activities. Avoid or refrain from falling into that trap not only millions of people are sick out there but also sleeping around with different partners tie your soul to theirs and when you will finally decide to settle down and build a real and true relationship with someone you love you might find yourself not fully enjoying the beauty of what physical intimacy was created for.
It also a reminder that we need to pay attention on how our behavior and conduct can affect otters and shape their opinions about us. We must maintain a good reputation because as much as a good reputation is fragile, a bad reputation takes longer to be restored.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates. One of the greatest virtue one can develop is to be humble. To understand what Benjamin Franklin meant by this virtue number 13, one has to read the life of JESUS and Socrates. In the meantime read How important is humility
Developing new habits and getting rid of old one is a process you have to be willing to take the first step towards becoming better and make those virtues common sense for you. Try again and again.
Which of the 13 amazing virtues spoke to you the most?
Till next Sunday