The 13 Virtues
Benjamin Franklin listed them as follows (from his
- Temperance- Eat not to dullness; drink not
- Silence- Speak not but what may benefit
others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
- Order-Let all your things have their
places; let each part of your business have its time.
- Resolution-Resolve to perform what you
ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
- Frugality-Make no expense but to do good
to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
- Industry-Loose no time; be always employ'd
in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity-Use no hurtful deceit; think
innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
- Justice-Wrong none by doing injuries, or
omitting the benefits that are your duty.
- Moderation-Avoid extremes, forbear
resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
- Cleanliness-Tolerate no uncleanliness in
body, cloaths, or habitation.
- Tranquility-Be not disturbed at trifles,
or at accidents common or unavoidable.
- 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.
- Humility-Imitate Jesus and Socrates
I've modified his original list for the Daily
Strategies. Here's how and why (this is the list that
will be used in the Daily Strategies):
- Temperance-Eat not to dullness; drink not
to elevation. Eat no processed sugar. Sleep 7 hours.
Exercise 30 minutes. Why modified in this way? This virtue seems
to be a step to allow clear thinking and energy for the remaining
virtues. Avoiding foods with added sugar, sleeping 7 hours, and
exercising 30 minutes per day seems to go far toward improving energy and
clarity of thinking.
- Silence-no modification
- Order-no modification
- Resolution-Renamed "Resolution
& Courage" Without courage there can be no virtue.
Courage allows the implementation of Resolution.
- Frugality-No modification
- Industry-No modification
- Sincerity-No modification
- Justice-No modification
- Moderation changed to "Thinking
& Writing." By "Writing" I don't mean the
next great novel. I mean plans, goals, budgets, love letters, letters
of apology, notes about books and manuals read. I don't find Benjamin
Franklin to have been one who avoided extremes. He was extreme enough
to exercise treason to the King and start a nation. He was very
extreme. I'm not into being different for difference's sake, but I
don't see any particular virtue in trying to avoid being extreme. As
for "resenting injuries," if you imitate Jesus you will not
resent injuries, so it seems redundant to list it separately. On the
other hand, writing clarifies thinking and thinking is such hard work that I
need all the tools I can get. Whether I'm thinking about how to run
the next basketball practice for my third grader or how to plan the care of
patients who volunteer for my next research project (a new anthrax vaccine),
writing helps. Of course, Benjamin Franklin was a prolific writer,
which I think contributed to his clarity of thinking in science and
politics. So, I dropped moderation from the list and placed at number
9 this virtue: Thinking & Writing-Spend
daily time reading and then writing your thinking.
- Cleanliness-No modification
- Tranquility-No modification
- Chastity-No modification
- Humility- Changed to Humility,
Love, & Outreach-(Because love in a vacuum is worthless) Do
something good for two people per day. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
For a clean, modified list, click