Before the days of mindless reality TV and raunchy pop music, men and women would contemplate these things they referred to as 'virtues'. Though it might cause me to miss out on an episode of Jersey Shore I thought I might take a moment to reflect on one man's list of virtues, that man being Benjamin Franklin.
Taken from his autobiography the 13 virtues are:
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 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. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no Uncleanness 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.