Thirteen virtues

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Benjamin Franklin's "Thirteen Virtues"

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 extreams; 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.

Benjamin Franklin kept a chart with him that listed these virtues (abbreviated) across the top, and he would put a dot in the column each day when he violated any of them. As a young man, his pages were full of dots, and as he grew older, the charts were cleaner.

We may not agree with these virtues (where's "have some fun?"), but it's interesting to see how a great thinker and influential person kept his life "on track."

--Jan Steinman 12:49, 17 January 2006 (PST)

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