The world seems to be over speeding, no time for contemplation, quiet time & calmness. Practicing, being still is considered foolishness. Many of us don’t care about virtues and morals anymore. Many of us have rejected the moral law giver and think we can decide what is right and what is wrong by ourselves. Pleasure and comfort are all over the place. Character building is a forgotten subject. Anyway!!
Benjamin Franklin in the year of 1726 developed a system to build his character. At that time he was just 20 years old.
I read this in his Autobiography and wanted to share with you all. These virtues that he had listed down are not universal but for his own life. However, all these virtues are equally important for our lives too. You can add more or reduce, but these are examples which might help developing yours.
He developed this system and dedicated this plan to God and started practicing. He failed many times but never gave up. And we all know, what a wonderful life he lived.
Following are the virtues he listed down for his life (taken as it is from his Autobiography). It is not to follow as it is but an example which can help.
|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 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, cloths, or habitation|
|Tranquillity||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|
He had also developed a weekly calendar in order to see how many times a day he fails to practice. Following table is the example.
Character building and developing virtues requires discipline and it takes time and effort. But where there is a will, there is grace also. As seen in the life of Benjamin Franklin, it did him a whole lot of good. So, I hope it helps all of us in our pursuit of character building.