Monday, July 21, 2008

The Virtuous Life.

There's always room for improvement, eh?

Around the time that this country was being born, one of our founding fathers and most thought-prolific thinkers came up with a set of tips for living. Benjamin Franklin "conceiv'd the bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral Perfection." While we all know that people aren't perfect—ever—the desire to be better for ourselves and for other remains in our fibers like the pulp in the trunk of a tree.

So, without further a'do:

Tips for Living a Virtuous Life from Benjamin Frankin's autobiography in 1793.

1. Temperance. Eat not to Dulness. 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 Uncleanness in Body, Cloaths, 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.

13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

No comments: