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Last Update: Saturday April 19, 2014

Do you want Money to Spare?

Learn from  Benjamin Franklin.

Develop a life of Virtue. 

Here are his thirteen virtues.

In the 1737 edition of “Poor Richard’s Almanack” Franklin wrote: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” 
Today though that penny would, of course, need to be as much as  $1,  the concept stands. 

The following thirteen virtues  (in green) are from Franklin's Autobiography (p.38f).
The comments below each virtue are written by Bruce Camber.

Franklin's thirteen virtues have been incorporated within many books, perhaps the most interesting being F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

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

Consumption.  Put less down the throat and through the mouth.  We do not need as much as we think we do.  Cut back.  Just eat nutritiously. 
Savor food, not a lot of food,  and savor your drink, and not a lot of it.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation.

Turn off the television and savor the quietness. Keep a modest schedule.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it's time.

This is the first principle of life.  Create order with continuity. More...

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Each year of this new millennium, add a new resolution.   The millennium technically began on January 1, 2001.   So, decide on eight or nine resolutions.
Ours are in formation.   Here is the first...

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.

Split dinners and order family style when you eat out.  Make your goal to have clean plates, but if you have some food remaining, pack it up and bring it home for tomorrow's lunch.

6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

We all do so many things that are just frivolous.  We know  the outcomes before the event happens.  We know the small talk.  We have done it all and heard it all so many times before.  Break that pattern.  Just break it.  Make your minutes as intentional as you can.

7. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.

Who likes a phoney?  What does it mean to be authentic and trasparent?  First, no lying.  Zip.  Zero.  Nadda.  Never ever lie about anything.  Abstain from commenting if you have to lie about it.  Learn the art of abstaining.  If you can not be honest, then you need to explore deeper and there is nothing wrong with saying, "I need to explore those issues more deeply."  Every crook starts with a lie and gets caught in it.

8. Justice: wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

Do you have a fairness doctrine?  Few do.  Our culture looks to learn new ways to exploit and to edge out another for one's advantage.  Every crooked person  lives within a lie about who they are, where they came from, and where they think they are going..

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

You would not be in debt and you would have savings if this were your bellwether for action.

]10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

Our mouths and our thoughts harbor some of the least clean elements of our being.  Turning this around will be difficult for us all, but turn it around we must.

11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents.

Let us be calm in the midst of fury.  How?  Tell yourself,  "Be calm.  Be level-headed.  See the big picture.  See beyond the horizon."

12. Chastity: Be chaste in matters with the opposite sex.

Of course, Franklin is the cook "with the pot calling the kettle black."  We have built up sex to be more than it is. You know that to be true, yet we are all in denial because Hollywood has taught us from the cradle that it is the all and all, end all, and be all.  And, you know that that image is just not true.  

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

We all need to learn a little more about both of these people and the divine gifts that were enfolded within their life.