13 virtues of Ben Franklin

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, Undergraduate February 1996

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When a child is born, all parents have a vision of raising a well rounded, well liked

and successful child. Parents often talk about all of the possibilities a child in the United

States has available to them. A new-born has the opportunity to be a doctor, lawyer,

teacher, police officer, or even the President. Impressions are made upon children through

their parents, teachers, and society. These important lessons play a major role in a child's

personality and shape the fragile mind of a child. Children learn from their parents, and

teachers the best way to be an integral part of society. If the list of thirteen virtues given

by Ben Franklin were taught to the new generation of kids, I feel that in the future, society

would be filled with better and also more efficient intellectuals. As a result the society as a

whole would greatly benefit.

How can a list of thirteen virtues change society in the future? After a brief

overview of the list I was not impressed.

Maybe these would apply to Franklin's day but

not to the twentieth century. With a few subtractions and additions the list of virtues may

be a helpful tool in any persons life.

Temperance is first on the list and is the most important of the virtues. As Franklin

states, some associate temperance with eating and drinking, but this was not Franklin's

intention. "Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head,

which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained

against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual

temptations."(Perkins, pg322) This is the most important of the list of virtues. My

interpretation of this is that one should always keep a cool head no...