Ben Franklin Circles, Council & Learning to Listen

Posted by & filed under Virtues.


  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

Posted by & filed under Chastity.

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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 »

Temperance: 5 Questions to Get Started

Posted by & filed under Temperance, Virtues.


Are you practicing the virtue of Temperance? Here are some questions to ask yourself and your Circle as you get started. Franklin’s definition: “Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.”   1. Some psychologists say that self-control diminishes as the day goes on—so, we are strong in the morning but weaker at night. Does… Read more »

Frugality: 5 Questions to Get Started

Posted by & filed under Frugality, Virtues.

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Are you practicing the virtue of frugality? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or your Ben Franklin Circle. Franklin’s definition: “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.”   1. What’s the difference between being frugal and being miserly or cheap?   2. What do you think Franklin… Read more »

Finding Tranquility

Posted by & filed under Tranquility.

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Last week I escorted a 30 pound bronze duck through airport security on what might prove to be its last flight.   Tranquility was my favorite of Franklin’s virtues. I felt quite self-satisfied with my efforts in its pursuit. I have always felt that I, like Franklin, have possessed an “evenness of temper” and “cheerfulness… Read more »