A Benjamin Franklin's Take: The Virtues of Life.


Virtue, Virtued, Virtuously, Virtuous! What comes into your mind with the mention of the word virtue? Sissy? A Woman’s Sexuality? Or effeminism? Far be it; and true to note, it is far from the mentioned. The word is deeply rooted in ‘manliness’ which is relative to the angelical origin, rather Latin. ‘Virtue’, as a word, is derived from ‘vir’ for ‘manliness in Latin. 

Now, Benjamin Franklin, a man driven by rather an intuitive desire to take after Aristotle; went on with the challenge of living a virtuous life. To note, you’d be surprised that a man born of poverty and meager two-year formal learning, scales up to become an American legend accoladed in the fields of science, music and authorship besides founding the land and serving as a diplomat. His key to success was constantly driven by the need for self-improvement and accomplishment of ambitions and with this regard, the legend committed to 13 virtues; a personal improvement program. Take a look.

1.    Temperance - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Let it not be found among you, gluttony, drunkenness rather practice abstinence, be sober in mind and restraint yourself as a moderation of habitual indulgence in passions and appetites. Come on, it ain’t death and am not preaching either; just moderate, yes, moderate is the word. 

2.  Silence - Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Yeah, we all know it, have heard it; look before you leap, silence speaks volumes, silence, silence, everything, everywhere, every time, silence. Just try and hold your tongue for a bit; you might cause havoc for no good reason and remember; you can’t take it back. Well, maybe with good money and a few people 6-feet under; just saying. I can’t take that back either.

3.     Order - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

From the deep libraries of Child Career Exchange, we all need to be orderly in our spaces to make the areas more tolerable and favorable for the expression of our personalities, culture, logic, goals, culture, geography and concerns relative to living. Just simple as that, the first sentence, is actually much better.

4.     Resolution - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

“The greatest of all freedoms ever accorded to man is decision making.” Now that you can freely decide, you do have to resolve to undertake; from the simple tasks of thinking of waking up and actually waking up and please leave the alarm clock out of this. Just do something; you got to accomplish something.

5. Frugality - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

This is one of the main reasons why economics is currently a compulsory course in every institution of higher learning. Try as much as you can to have this quality of being economical with food, money or other possession while maintaining simplicity; an ultimate perfection.

6. Industry - Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

Make every effort count. That’s why we use the British education system that includes grade ‘E’ for effort; worth it than being a sloth. Elsewhere, for us, a neo generation, we’d argue much on validities of efforts and feasibilities regarding being industrious, so, every effort counts, every second, no minute counts.

7.     Sincerity - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Let your mind be devoid of malice or hypocrisy but uphold honesty, genuineness, truthfulness and good faith. You don’t have to be serious to seem sincere as Google defines sincerity since in every rumor there is a sense of truth as well but maintain a trustworthy appeal in every situation regardless of the fact that your country tops the most corrupt in the world!  

8.     Justice - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

The main reason why we have judicial systems is because someone always wants to get away with something, someone is always more than’s rightfully theirs and someone somewhere is always ready to defend them, well, just for a little fee. Lawyers wouldn’t be existent if from the self, we practiced decency, upheld morals, were objective, neutral and impartial in our deeds. You know what, if it doesn’t bother you that much, just do your part and go, don’t hurt them if you can’t help them.

9.     Moderation - Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

It wouldn’t be lingually fair to mention moderation without the call for temperance, rather, maybe still, Benjamin Franklin in the footsteps of Aristotle, calls us to do things with reasonable limits. Be calm and avoid violence at all costs; a contravening term for learning how to fight just to be calm, but I love taekwondo.

10.    Cleanliness - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness! Say it again, Cleanliness is next to Godliness! That’s your voice in pre-unit class shouting. It is part of a greater plan towards creating a healthier self-surround while eliminating contaminants giving rise to a good character as your keep both your mind, soul and body clean and peaceful. Start by taking out the trash.

11.    Tranquility - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

Currently, the United States is inputting greater resources in learning the Indian art of living of Yoga. What may not know or the few who’ve discovered may appreciate is that motion control whether from within or outside serves a greater deal in self-development. Imagine, and when I say imagine, let yourself go; Ok now, imagine the aura of the beautiful cathedral or being at the shore of a quiet lake. Leave all that aside, just be not toyed by situations around you; your state of mind is worth your peace and focus.

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.

As a central and pivotal concept derived from the praxis of Roman Catholics, ye, be chaste as an essentiality towards maintaining and cultivating bodily and spiritual unity and the eventual human integrity. Likewise, be morally pure in your thoughts, words and actions; that’s all Aristotle meant.

13.    Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

I don’t know much about Socrates but as the ‘Father Of Western Philosophy,’ and this man, a God by Himself, Jesus Christ, ‘The Messiah’, as so edified by Christians, Benjamin Franklin requires you to imitate them. Anyway, humility as a virtue should be a found among you as it encourages a culture of openness, ego-less-ness, and thus gives you the strength to put others before you.

Hey, I know, it’s been long since you went to church, but I got to tell you that you need these virtues in your life. Remember to be temperent, shush most of the time, be organized, resolve and do, be economical and commit to something.  In addition, be truthful and fair in your dealings while keeping the limits and to the self, be clean, still, chaste and humble. That’s all, all according to Ben Franklin. Ignore the many explanations, they are just my own words, but tell me what your think. Anyway, go ahead, ye be chaste.