Values and Ben Franklin's Thirteen Virtues





It is said that Ben Franklin drew these values as a list of thirteen virtues when he was only twenty years of age and that he used them to guide his life.

His autobiography lists his thirteen virtues as:

TEMPERENCE - eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

SILENCE - speak not but what would 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; waste nothing

INDUSTRY - lose no time; be always employed 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, clothes 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 or weakness or the injury of your own or anothers' peace or reputation

HUMILITY - initiate Jesus and Socrates

Franklin could not always live up to all of these thirteen virtues he wrote as guideposts for himself; but he did follow them and track his progress and deviations





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