21 February 2013
Ben Franklin and the Thirteen Virtues
Ben Franklin was one of the most important of the Founding Fathers, and also contributed many things to society. He was an author, politician, scientist, musician, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat. One of the most important things that he contributed to society were the 13 virtues.
In his late twenties he listed thirteen virtues that he thought were important to live by. These virtues were: temperance, order, resolution, frugality, moderation, industry, cleanliness, tranquility, silence, sincerity, justice, chastity, and humility. He took his thirteen virtues and tried to live by them every day. He often wrote down his success or failure on a separate page in a small book he often carried around. He would focus on one virtue for a full week. He often recommended trying his thirteen virtues to those around him. However, he himself did not always succeed in following his thirteen virtues. Ben Franklin loved eating food, womanized, and dressed elaborately on several occasions. Through his frequent failures we can tell that the thirteen virtues can be very difficult to follow. To see just how hard they are to follow, and to see their effectiveness in everyday life, I chose one virtue to follow for a full week. The virtue I chose to follow was silence.
I chose the virtue silence because I felt that I would benefit the most by learning to speak only when I needed to and to avoid unnecessary conversations. I discovered that it is very difficult to hold your tongue when others are speaking. The hardest part was not saying anything whenever someone made a comment that was hurtful to either me or someone else. However, even though it was very difficult, I soon learned that it was better to be silent and discuss the comment or issue later when I was not speaking out of anger. Even though it was difficult at first, the effort paid off and it worked well. It...