Temperance

So, I’ve decided to undertake a new project. I’m going to adopt Benjamin Franklin’s journaling of his thirteen virtues. Here they are.


Temperance : Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

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 : 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.

Tranquillity : Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

Chastity : Rarely use venery (pursuit of sexual activity) 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.


If you’d like a little bit of info about how the virtues journaling process goes, check out this video from the Art of Manliness. They’re selling a leather-bound journal and that’s nice and all, but I feel like it’s overkill, and my hope is to build a command-line tool for keeping track of this stuff in the future. In the meantime, I’m using Day One for keeping track of Ben Franklin’s two daily questions to himself: “What good will I do today?” and “What good did I do today?”. Bonus points if you use the Python tool jrnl to enter your journal entries. For the virtues chart, I created an OmniOutliner outline that you could either print out and mark off or just click the check boxes on your Mac.

I’ll be tackling temperance first, and I’ll post at the end of next week with results of how it went and my thoughts on the next virtue.

Published on November 20, 2014


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