Benjamin Franklin's Virtues Week 13: Humility

This is the thirteenth in a series of articles about Benjamin Franklin's virtues:


"Imitate Jesus and Socrates."

Most people misunderstand what it means to show humility.  It doesn't mean you have to be timid.  It is simply the absence of pride--and it's not that easy.  Benjamin Franklin was the first to admit that humility (and maybe one or two other of his virtues) was the one he had the most difficult time with. 
We're taught to be proud of the the things we accomplish.  We live in a world where we're taught than being accomplished is important--so when we accomplish something, we're anxious to brag about it.

Of course, in our Twitter and FaceBook saturated culture, it's all about "me, me, me . . ."  We believe the world begins and ends with our last post, or our last tweet.  We believe there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, waiting in anticipation in cyberspace for our next update.

You may be chuckling right now.  But I think it's very American to have a difficult time showing humility.  Try something this week.  Try going a whole week without talking about yourself, taking credit for something, or bragging about something you accomplished.  You might find it a little more difficult than you thought.


This is one of a series of Wednesday postings that examine the 13 Virtues Benjamin Franklin believed necessary to achieve moral perfection. You can find all the related articles by searching the blog under the “Franklin’s Virtues” label.

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