Practicing Sincerity Through Actively Listening

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Spring break in Panama City Beach, Florida is not typically a hotbed of virtue or reflection.   Morality and self-improvement were last on my mind as I boarded my flight south. Instead, I was eagerly awaiting my reunion with friends I hadn’t seen in weeks, and gearing up for the stereotypical combination of sunny beaches… Read more »

A Lesson in Humility

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  My grandmother used to say, “Self-praise is poor recommendation.”   Apparently, she was adopting a Latin proverb to tell me that I was being arrogant and that it did not become me. It hurt but it was true.   Modesty is hard. Good mental health requires a strong sense of self-worth but it can… Read more »

Boredom—An Unappreciated Virtue?

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We usually think of boredom as a bad thing—and it’s not one of the virtues on Ben Franklin’s list. But does boredom have a role in a good and meaningful life? Yes, argues Clive Thompson in this article:   “I’M DYING OF Boredom,” complains the young wife, Yelena, in Chekhov’s 1897 play Uncle Vanya. “I… Read more »

Ben Franklin Circles, Council & Learning to Listen

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  Arrowyn Ambrose, the President & Founder of Story Tribe, runs a Ben Franklin Circle in Los Angeles, California. She shares the following post about her experience leading the Circle:   Council is an age-old practice that involves bringing people together in a circle for candid and heartfelt conversations.   Participants speak one-at-a-time, sharing their… Read more »

Chastity in the 21st Century

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Let’s talk about the elephant in our metaphorical room.   When you dedicated yourself to the notion of following Ben Franklin to a better, more virtuous life and scanned the list he created – pausing only to nod with interest at tranquility or wince at the pinch of frugality– you had no idea what was… Read more »

Seeking Belonging in an Age of Division—Franklin’s Way

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I’ve been thinking about how divided our country has become thanks to the election.   The psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently lamented today’s “unstoppable process of reciprocally escalating outrage and disgust, justified via social media.” People seem more polarized than ever and are actually unfriending each other on Facebook and beyond over political disagreements. This strikes… Read more »