Order: 5 Questions to Get Started

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Are you practicing the virtue of order? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or your Ben Franklin Circle. Franklin’s definition: “Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.”   1. Do you keep your life ordered and organized? What are some ways that you do?  … Read more »

Justice: 5 Questions to Get Started

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Are you practicing the virtue of justice? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or your Ben Franklin Circle. Franklin’s definition: “Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”   1. Franklin’s definition of justice seems to be “do no harm.” Is that a good definition? What’s your definition of… Read more »

Cleanliness: 5 Questions to Get Started

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Are you practicing the virtue of cleanliness? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or your Ben Franklin Circle. Franklin’s definition: “Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.”   1. Does cleanliness relate to an ability to think more clearly? Does having a clean desk or a clean home allow you to feel less… Read more »

Temperance and the Meaning of Passover

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  What can we learn from ritual temperance?   A few weeks ago, I spent my first Passover away from home and family. Observing the holiday, which commemorates the story of Exodus and the Israelites’ escape from slavery, involves abstaining from certain foods. For eight days, wheat, bread, and other types of chametz are rendered… Read more »

Industriousness as a Form of Worship

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  “Be always employed in something useful,” wrote young Benjamin Franklin, promoting the virtue of industry and discouraging the wasting of time.   “Cut off all unnecessary actions.” Surely, though, he did not intend that we maintain a perpetual busy-ness just for its own sake. After all, as Thoreau pointed out, “It is not enough… 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 »