Recently my attention has been hooked by a series of posts on the excellent blog The Art of Manliness. While I certainly do not agree with everything on the site, I am fascinated by the similarity between Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues and Don Miguel Ruiz’s four agreements.
Just to recap, Don Miguel Ruiz’s four agreements are:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues are:
- “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
- “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
- “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
- “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
- “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
- “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
- “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
- “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
- “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
- “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
- “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
- “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
- “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
I think the four agreements capture the essence of all thirteen of Benjamin Franklin’s virtues. I will explore this in a bit more depth in a series of posts. Each of them dealing with a particular virtue.