I just finished reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and still am amazed by how applicable his list of thirteen virtues are. These virtues, aside from their obvious moral interests, have many other useful benefits when it comes to dealing with people and relationships.
Without further delay, here are Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues:
- Temperance – Don’t eat for the sake of eating or drink until you are drunk. (Great way to stay fit.)
- Silence – If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Think before you speak.
- Order – Organize your work AND play time. Make time for both.
- Resolution – “Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” – Always keep your promises and persevere towards your goals.
- Frugality – Don’t waste. Don’t make expenses unless they are beneficial to others or yourself.
- Industry – Don’t waste time. Always be doing something useful and eliminate all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity – “Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly;” – Be genuine.
- Justice – Don’t let harm fall on others by your actions or inactions.
- Moderation – “Avoid extremes.” Also, don’t hold grudges.
- Cleanliness – “Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes and habitation”. Have good hygiene.
- Tranquility – Don’t get aggravated over uncontrollable circumstances and incidents.
- 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.”
- Humility – “Imitate Jesus and Socrates.” – If you don’t know who they are, wiki them.
There is a reason Benjamin Franklin was so accomplished. His adherence to these 13 virtues played a big role in his achievements. Even though this was written in the 18th century, these qualities are still applicable today for people regardless of religion, race or age.