My thoughts this week are about Benjamin Franklin and our virtual makeover. I found out something unusual about the virtual list that Franklin created in the 1700’s . I made a grid of the days of the week and the virtues; when we see the virtue in ourselves and others , we place a black dot in the grid for the day and the week. At the end of the 13 weeks , we have a page full of black dots. In the auto biography by Ben Franklin, his goal was to see a clear page ,because he put a dot in the grid when he found fault against the virtues . Franklin was a very wise man , but he did not have the knowledge of the Master Key. He was focusing on the negative faults. Our Makeover included organization, Kindness, taking initiative , Discipline, Decisiveness, Courage , Special Knowledge, Enthusiasm, Self control, Persistence, Imagination, Pleasing personality and seeing God in others . The list of Ben Franklin’s virtues list was appropriate for the time . I illustrate them here to compare them to ours and to Aristotle who lived in 385 B.C. There are many similarities . The list of virtues by Ben Franklin follow:
Temperance : referring to eating and drinking , reflecting self control and restraint.
Silence: He felt that he could gain knowledge at the same time by listening.
Order: This is similar to organization.
Resolution: Funny how we are not doing any New Years Resolutions by doing the makeover ! He meant this to mean Resolve to perform what you should; Perform without fail what you resolve. (persistence)
Frugality : Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself. (service), Saving “a Penny Saved is a Penny Earned”,
Industry: Lose no time ; Always be employed in something useful ; cut off any necessary activities (discipline )
Sincerity : Think innocently and justly, and speak accordingly. (truth,Honor,Trustworthy)
Justice : Do the right thing for others. (Law /Honesty)
Moderation: avoid extremes
Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body or clothes or habit
Tranquility : Be not disturbed (pleasing personality )
Chastity : Don’t jeopardize your reputation ( no extramarital affairs)
Humility: Obedience , Subservient , (Seeing God in others)
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher in 384 B.C. and he was a student of Plato. He believed that the function of the human was to engage in an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue , There were two overriding virtues :Intellectual and Moral . The intellectual virtues were acquired by Inheritance and education and the moral ones were acquired by Practice and habit ( Laws of the mind ). The highest virtue was intellectual contemplation ( thought ) . Here are the other virtues by Aristotle :
Temperance : self control and restraint
Liberality : generosity
Magnificence: zest for life
Pride : self -satisfaction
Honor: respect , admiration ( of others)
Good Temper : level headed (pleasing personality )
Truthfulness: Truth and Trust
Wit : sense of humor . Funny how that was a virtue back then.
Friendship : companionship
Justice : Impartiality and Fairness
The first week has been great . My first virtue was Organization. Since I have been noticing this virtue and focusing on it , I have been more organized with my thinking and daily activities.
`According to Haanel, “a thought containing principle is vital, … contains life … and takes root and eventually displaces negative thoughts ” By flipping cards, I have experienced many positive associations, thoughts and emotions . The cards with sentences , previous events , and gratitude are supposed to create pictures in our mind , give power to our thoughts and create abundance and harmony !
A few notes about Gratitude
In the autobiography by Ben Franklin , he made a chart similar to OATS. He accounted for his time during the day to be more efficient . I noted that he wrote on a column to the left of his schedule ” what good shall I do today ” in the morning hours and “what good have I done ” at the end of the day. This could have been his way of noting gratitude and service . Brendon Bouchard is a writer , motivator and wrote the book High Performance Habits! His words are :
“Did I Live? Did I Love ? Did I Matter?”
His words link to Og and the Scrolls :
“If I lived , was I vibrant , positive , and happy? If I loved ,did I lead with my heart ?( scroll 2 ) was I vulnerable , caring and did I share? If I mattered , did I stay on the path to helping others ( scroll 3 )”
He says ” thank you for this beautiful day. I hope that I served well. I want to release all of the energy and all of the emotions of this day. I would love to sleep tonight peacefully . There is nothing from this day that’s going to come into tomorrow (scroll 4 ). I have done all that I can. There is nothing for me to do until I wake up well-rested and excited for the day . I appreciate the opportunity to live today . Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Thank you for the health of my wife , and family and friends . Lord please let me sleep tonight .”
My mind is strong . I was able to do a simple test this week which looked at the ability to focus and recite a color while reading a word . The word and the color were different . For example , the word would be red , but the color of the word was yellow. Through the power of focus and mind strength , I was able to focus to guess the correct color and not be affected by the word. This is similar when we read the Scrolls . After 2 weeks, we are the gatekeepers. This is a just another example of the power and strength of the mind . The journey continues. I am looking forward to focusing on my virtues in myself and others over the coming weeks .