Ben's Pursuit for Moral Perfection

Ben's Pursuit for Moral Perfection

Benjamin Franklin wanted to be morally perfect, so he devised a schedule to attain that goal.

He listed thirteen qualities that he needed to attain for moral perfection. He made a calendar with the qualities on it and tried to perfect one each week. He also made a plan for the day.

He would get up at five, pray, eat breakfast, do his work, and by the end of the day, he would have started perfecting a quality, and eventually, all the qualities would be achieved.

That was the plan, at least.

Realistically, it took about a year to perfect one quality, and the others took an eternity to perfect.

The virtues Ben wanted to acquire (in order):

1. TEMPERANCE.-Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
   2. SILENCE.-Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
 3. ORDER.-Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
 4. RESOLUTION.-Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
 5. FRUGALITY.-Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.
 6. INDUSTRY.-Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
 7. SINCERITY.-Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
 8. JUSTICE.-Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
 9. MODERATION.-Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
 10. CLEANLINESS.-Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
 11. TRANQUILLITY.-Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
 12. CHASTITY (Ben didn't write anything about this, but it means to be devoted to your wife).
 13. HUMILITY.-Imitate Jesus and Socrates.