Benjamin Franklin: The Enlightened American And A Good Citizen, What Can We Learn From His Self Discipline

Benjamin Franklin is one of the most extraordinary human beings the world has ever known. He is the very definition of ”rags to riches’.’ He was an enlightened American and a good citizen. He rose from obscurity to become one of the greatest men of history. What can we learn from this amazing human? Although Benjamin Franklin only had 3 year formal education, he was committed to a life long of studies.

According to Wikipedia, Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of United States, a renowned polymath, a leading author, printer, political Theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, stateman, diplomat, etc. It was believed that he single-handlely negotiated the French revolution and also found a daily tabloid.

Benjamin was known to be a major figure in the American Enlightenment, History of physics, and was also known to facilitate many civic organizations among others.

How can one man with limited formal education accomplish all these things? Let us take a look at his self discipline and principles.

First of all let’s take a look at his daily routine.

According to Quick Biography, “he wakes up 5 am every morning : Rise, wash and address Powerful Goodness! Contrive day’s business and take resolution of the day; prosecute the present study and breakfast. That is between the hours of 5 am and 7am.”

At 12 noon: Read or look over accounts and dine.

From 2pm to 5pm: Work.

From 6pm to 9pm: Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion or conversation. Examination of the day.

From 10pm to 5am: Sleep.

That is what we call discipline. At the beginning of every day he asks himself the following question: What good shall i do this day?

And at the end of everyday he asks the following question: What good have I done today?

Finally let us examine his 13 virtues and see what we can learn from him.

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

2. Silence: Speak but not 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 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: Loose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, ans. speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or ommitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries, so much as you think you deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Be clean in body cloths and environment.

11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at triffles or accidents

12. Chastity

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus or Socrates.

In what ways do you think we can improve ourselves by imitating Benjamin Franklin?

[Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Comments