You may well have heard of Benjamin Franklin, he was very influential as a writer and statesman in the 1700s, mainly in the USA and France. He wrote a series of blogs (ok, ok, not really blogs, but printed sheets that were handed out on the street-ernet for 1c) which were extremely popular.

His blogging name was “Poor Richard” and he called his blog “Poor Richard’s Almanac” and he had over 10,000 subscribers in the years from 1732 to 1758. Not bad eh! So what made his blog so popular, other than the fact that it was the closest thing to the internet at the time?

Well he had some good stuff to say, and I would like to promote one of his blogs, on the subject of VIRTUES. I have taken the liberty (something that was very popular at the time 🙂 ) to modify the old English to modern bloggese!

Personal

Temperance: Don’t eat till you are stuffed and down; Don’t drink till you are high. (Savour each moment with bright eyes)

Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your life have its time.

Resolution: Resolve to do what you truly want; then make sure you definitely do it. (Don’t procrastinate)

Frugality: Spend all your time and money with the intention to do good to yourself or others ; ( Think about resources, waste nothing. – Today we would say, “be green”)

Moderation: Avoid extremes; teflon yourself against the turkeys, dont let them get under your skin.

Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

Tranquility: Don’t let the small stuff get you down, or feel bad because of accidents, either common karma or unavoidable.

Social

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Justice: Wrong nobody; either by hurting them, or omitting the compassionate part of your higher self.

Chastity: Sex should be healthy;  sexual participation should be in a context of passion and respect, not from obligation, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. (Hmmm, reach out with care to others would be a good summary!)

OK so you get the gist, 13 virtues which are not unlucky, rather which are things to think about, and relevant for today.

Oh and obviously, the fourteenth virtue is – “blogging” 🙂 – start your own documentation of what you believe in, what you think you can offer to the world in terms of wisdom! (And if you think it is hard or expensive to start a blog, use full service blog to get started!)

Listening to the wise. (Poem written in 2002)

The voice of wisdom cannot always be flesh and blood

Breathing eye-to-eye with us

 It may come from distant millennia, inscribed on tombs,

Scratched or ornately illustrated on vellum.

 

It may come on radio, lost in the ether

as soon as it is spoken.

 

It can be present on canvas, in the colour and brush

Or the sculptor’s strike.

 

But it is mostly found in life, in being touched by care

Or in the mind-massage of gentle teaching.

And the listening requires ears

  • The ears of the wide ocean
  • The ears of the flutter of small wings
  • The ears of space and vacuum
  • The ears of creation and re-birth.

 

Listening to the wise

Is more than media

It is the seeking of truth, out of the arms of those

Who have shown can be trusted with the child in us.