The 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin 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 it’s 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; forebear 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: 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
To look deeper on how these Virtues can help you to create wealth, we take a look at the virtue of Justice.
Justice uses the qualities of trust and truthfulness built with Sincerity to allow us to achieve more for ourselves while operating in an environment of fairness. That does not mean that everyone should or will have the same successes, but that they should have the same opportunity as anyone else to attempt to do so within the same laws and freedoms.
In a personal sense, Justice is that virtue which we display honesty and integrity in all of our actions. Personal integrity is always at the heart of any financial transaction, financial oversight, and financial stewardship. As individuals, we must be honest enough to pay our creditors, while lenders have to ensure that those they loan to have the realistic means to follow the terms of any loan.
Ethics plays a significant role in how we deal with others. People trusted established financial managers like Bernard Madoff, yet in the end, his lack of the virtue of Justice (along with a lack of many others) ruined countless lives by defrauding them of billions of dollars. Many of his former customers now wish him good health and a long life as he is serving a 150 year prison sentence.
Business Owners as well as employees also have a responsibility to keep this virtue in practice. For many businesses, this is the basis for company ethics policies. The fair treatment of employees, coworkers, peers, subordinates, and customers is important for any business to build and maintain trust. With trust comes loyalty. Any successful business owner knows that with a foundation of employee and customer loyalty, comes profitability.
Begin to Use Justice in Improving Wealth
- If you owe money in any form of debt, ensure that you make the paying of the debts the highest priority. Paying what you owe betters your reputation as well as your credit rating.
- Maintain a high standard in your work ethic as your reputation is, in the end, what advances you in your position.