Benjamin Franklin's Virtues Week 1: Temperance

This is the first in a series of article about the 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin


Eat not to dullness;
drink not to elevation.

When Benjamin Franklin determined to pursuit a state of moral perfection and established his 13 virtues, one of the first he decided to focus on was temperance. He focused on this one first, because he knew attaining self-discipline over his tendencies to overdo things would make adherence to the other virtues easier.

Of course, Franklin’s definition speaks of moderation. Eating not to dullness or excess, but rather eating because you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. And drinking not to elevation, but remaining in control of your actions, accepting personal responsibility and knowing when enough is enough.

Remember this weekend, as your dining out, or enjoying a few beverages, to think about what you’re doing. You are the master of your own universe, and in order master that universe, you must first gain mastery over yourself.


This is one of a series of Wednesday posting that examine Benjamin Franklin’ 13 Virtues he 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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