I’ve been reading about the founders of the United States of America for a while now, trying to learn about who they really were and what they meant when they wrote our constitution.

Its hard to imagine what its like to rebel against your own country. I mean, think about it; you go to war against the French and Natives in the name of your country, you build your own land and pay your taxes to a King who has given it to you. Then, at some point, you decide to betray your own King and country for an idea. What courage does it take to know that you are becoming a traitor to your own homeland just by signing your name?

So I have started learning about Ben Franklin. Before I only knew that he invented Bifocals, flew a kite in a storm to study electricity, wrote for the New England Courant,  and that he had a taste for french women. Did you know that when he invented the pot belly stove, he gave the plans out for free? House fires were rampant in these days, mostly due to the current type of stoves used. Franklin saw it as a chance to save lives, not to make money, and he did it out of his own accord. He also started the fire department in order to save lives and create awareness about fire safety.

Anyways, so I heard a few weeks back that Ben Franklin used to keep a list of 13 virtues he reviewed every night and morning to keep in mind. I thought that this was a cool idea, and so I have decided to share them here.

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and 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 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. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. 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.

12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

So after reading these, I have decided to rewrite them and make them more applicable to modern times, and more specifically, to me.

1. Self Control: Too much food leads to obesity, too much TV can lead to laziness, even too much air makes you light headed.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. (I couldn’t put it any better)

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. (same here)

4. Resolution: Don’t let quitting be an option. Finish everything you start, no matter how small the matter is.

5. Frugality: Ask yourself “Do I need this?” before you buy something: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Don’t be manipulative or misleading. Be direct and honest in conversation.

8. Justice:  Wrong none, not even a vengeful punch or white lie can be acceptable .

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Every extreme results in injury of body and mind.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, workspace, or house.

11. Chastity: Ummm… be chaste.

12. Tranquility: Some things just can’t be helped. Shaping your life around every accident and unfortunate circumstance is exhausting, and overall worthless.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. I don’t know much about Socrates, but as someone who has studied Christ, he can teach you a few things about humility.


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