13 Necessary Virtues

Today I stumbled upon something kinda neat on LinkedIn. It was a more extensive post than what I’m including now, but below are the 13 Necessary Virtues according to Benjamin Franklin in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Some pretty lofty standards for moral living, but I also thought it was timeless food for thought and effective tools for self-reflection.

These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:

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 extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10.) Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, 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.

I also noticed this card summarizing the Gospel on the path during a walk in the park today. The nicest older gentleman interrupted his jog to see what had caught my attention enough that I was squatting to take a photo of it. (His first question was, “Is it a ticket?”) But then he read each sentence aloud to me and was so pleased and proud to tell me that he’s “read these before.” My heart. I told him that it seemed like we both got a little bit of church today, even though we weren’t in the pew.

I don’t know how effectively I’ll ever be able to imitate Jesus, but I’ll never grow tired of interacting with him through his children.

Completely unrelated to anything in the above post, can we just take a moment to admire the awesomeness of these twisty, old, gnarly trees in the northeast corner of the park?? They’re like something out of a Grimm Fairy Tale or something.

And can we pause for an additional moment of stunned silence to note that I actually used a word like “northeast” to describe the location of anything.

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