Yesterday was a refreshing spring day here in Washington D.C. Everyone was sitting in Farragut Square, getting a bite to eat from the food trucks. Our music was spreading to the ears of people passing by.
But this post is not about any of the people in and around the square.
It is about a (homeless) man who sits three blocks up, surrounded by worn blankets and reads (and reads and reads).
Today he is actively reading Benjamin Franklin's autobiography (actively means he is taking notes on a pad of paper with one of those black bic pens).
What, you ask, is he writing? The names and definitions of the thirteen virtues that Benjamin Franklin outlined as necessary or desirable in his autobiography (shown in the picture above). These 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 place; 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; that is, waste nothing.
- INDUSTRY.-Lose no time; be always employed 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, clothes, or habitation.
- TRANQUILITY.-Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.
- CHASTITY. . . . .
- HUMILITY.-Imitate Jesus and Socrates
All we could think was...wow. What an incredible way to spend a sunny afternoon. Would love to know what you think.