With the new year, comes new resolutions. For me, there are many: Losing weight, completing my first year or graduate school, learn Hebrew, journal more, and read more. With reading, I have taken on the challenge of Charles W. Eliot, L.L.D., to read 15 minutes a day from the Harvard Classics. I am using scanned copies of the volumes which can be found online in the public domain. I am also continuing to search for a complete 51 volume set so that I have the original texts.
The first reading assignment for the year is from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. It’s quite fitting for the start of a new year, as the section is “Franklin’s Advice for the New Year”. Here are the virtues Franklin prescribes to be taken to habit:
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i. e., waste nothing.
Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.