Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Benjamin Franklin's Virtues Week 2: Order

This is the second in a series of articles about the 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

Benjamin Franklin wanted to get more out of his life, and he knew the key to that was organization. He knew if he wanted to get the really big things done, he’d have to make sure the little things didn’t get in the way. So he worked on making sure he had a place for everything, and kept everything in its place.

You would think in a world of computers, our ability to maintain organization and order would be easier--but it’s not. With new technologies come new distractions, and mankind continues to struggle to stay organized, manage their time, and make sure a million tiny details don’t overcome us at any given time.  Technology has not improved that problem.

So this week as you consider this virtue, take a few minutes each day, and plan out your day. Take a few minutes each morning to get organized. Take a few minutes to contemplate if you’re reaching those big goals in your life, or if you’re mired down in a day to day struggle with the small ones.

Isn’t it time to get your house in order?

~Todd E. Creason, 33°

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.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Masonic Ink: New Zealand

Here's a more international addition to this long-running series.  I'm afraid, as Bro. Groves points out, that the photo isn't very clear.  If you have photos of Masonic Ink you'd like to share, people do seem to enjoy these posts a great deal.  I'll just share what Brother Bruce Groves wrote below:

Greetings Todd,

I came across your website during a Google search trying to find the Masonic artist my tattoist has a poster of in his shop.  Looks like I have to go back and get the name!

Anyway, I got Kurt at 7th Rose Tattoos here in Gisborne, New Zealand to do my Masonic tattoo after I'd assembled various symbols and tattoos I liked the look of and drew up a draft for him.

My best friend lives in USA and she is Greek, so I had the Masonic Faith, Hope, & Charity written in Greek as a homage to her.  My Mother Lodge is named by number (Lodge Manurewa #222 New Zealand Constitution), there is a Maori-stylized Kiwi at the base of the compasses, and the Southern Cross constellation (for NZ).

Kurt did it all in one session including the color but I had to go back for the stars which he forgot to add to the design and I had missed when I OK'd it.
Embellishing it is the nipple ring, to which I have fitted a skull and crossbones for more Masonic symbols. 

I apologize for the lack of clarity in the photo - I didn't have anyone to take the photo with a camera and relied on the computer one.

Once again, thanks for the opportunity to share my tattoo.

Bro Bruce Groves
Lodge Abercorn-Tuahine #76
Gisborne, The Sunshine City
New Zealand 

Keep those photos coming!

~Todd E. Creason

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

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.

~Todd E. Creason, 33°

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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Introduction: Benjamin Franklin's Virtues

Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
Back when I originally posted this series, I didn't really have much of an audience.  But this was a really good series, and I spent a great deal of time putting it together.  so over the next 13 Tuesdays, I thought I'd run it again.  I challenge you to try out Franklin's method, and work these virtues into your own life as Benjamin Franklin did throughout his.  And let me know how it's working out for you.  

Benjamin Franklin is an American icon, what we’d call today a “self-made man.” He was born into a poor family and only received two years of formal schooling. Regardless of his humble beginnings, Franklin became a successful printer, inventor, scientist, musician, diplomat, and writer.

The key to his success was that he constantly strove to improve himself. By the age of 20, Ben Franklin had set a lofty goal for himself.

“I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.”

Franklin's weekly chart to
track his progress
In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of living 13 virtues. In order to keep track of how well he was doing in attaining his goal, Franklin carried around a small book of 13 charts. Franklin evaluated himself at the end of each day. He placed a dot next to each virtue each had violated. The goal was to minimize the number of marks, thus indicating a “clean” life--free of vice.

Franklin would pay particular attention to one virtue each week, trying hard not to get a single mark for an entire week on that virtue. So after 13 weeks he had moved through all 13 virtues and would then start all over again. It was a habit he continued for the rest of his life.

While Franklin never accomplished his goal of moral perfection, being particularly challenged by the virtues of temperance and chastity, but he felt he benefited from the exercise none-the-less.

“Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”

Applying Franklin’s Virtues To Your Life

I thought over the next several weeks, every Tuesday, I’d post one of Franklin’s virtues and his definition of it. Perhaps it will help us all the think more clearly about what we do every day.  Perhaps by focusing on one in particular each week as Franklin did,  we may benefit in the same way.

~Todd E. Creason, 33°

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