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Benjamin Franklin's example

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Post Title: What if Benjamin Franklin were alive today? How would his 12 virtues apply to a modern-day setting?

Post Date: December 11, 2012

Many historians and biographers have written extensively about Franklin and his many accomplishments. He attributed much of his success to his 12 virtues, comprehensive rules he prescribed for leading a successful and content life. Maybe we could better handle our marvels of technology if we combined them with ideologies of the past.

Temperance

Temperance calls for a person to avoid overindulgence in food or drink. By conquering your primal urges for food and drink, you’ll have the confidence to start making improvements in other areas of your life. Too much of anything is not good.

Silence

Not only is it better to be silent than to look like a fool, but oftentimes, being silent can be constructive, because it gives the other person a chance to talk and increases your listening skills. Most often, people don’t want advice, they want to be heard. The best thing you can do is just listen to them vent or talk about their problem. Most of the time, when people talk like this, they’ll work it out on their own without your wonderful words of wisdom.

Order

The laws of physics tell us that the universe and everything in it tends towards chaos and disorganization. A person must fight against these natural laws and the path of least resistance. Yet taking on complex organization will only cause more imbalances in your life. Instead, make small changes by rectifying each slip into disorganization the moment it happens.

Resolution

Resolution is the firm determination to accomplish what you set out to do. An easy way to do this is to have a main goal, then set smaller daily goals that will lead up to the main or long-range goal. At the end of each day, reflect: “What have I done today?” This sounds easy but is not.

Frugality

One good thing about the recent recession; it has forced our society to back off on its spending habits, just as our grandparents learned to do from living through the Great Depression. To put it simply: spend less money than you earn.

Industry

Hard work is paramount to success. The truth is, the rich didn’t get that way with minimum effort. Well, not legally. And studies suggest that winning the state lottery is not always a good thing. A majority of Lotto winners go bankrupt within five years of winning.

Sincerity

I’m sure you’ve noticed on blogs and social network websites a prevalence of gossip, lying, and sarcasm, thanks in part to anonymity. Has this become a social norm or status quo that has infiltrated our real life as well?

Justice

In addition to standing up for those who are disadvantaged, there is another facet to justice; when you feel strongly about a topic, try to consider the other point of view. There is an abundance of apathy and ignorance in our society, but we can work to change that.

Moderation

We all want more in our lives. But more material items do not define the person we are.

Cleanliness

This virtue tells other people a lot about you. Not only does it have a profound effect on your self image, but it also includes a discipline that helps to increase attention and order.

Tranquility

The ability to control anger is just one aspect of tranquility. Another is to “weed out” toxic people in your day-to-day life who are argumentative or constantly focusing on the negative. You can look inward for tranquility as well.

Chastity

Currently, at least 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Have we cheapened the act of sex by turning it into a conquest instead of an exchange of love and emotions on several different levels?

[Post edited for length]

Title: Contemplate | Address: riccampbell.com

Author: Richard Campbell | From: Downtown | Blogging since: March 2010

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