I’m up early this morning doing a little research for my book.  I was reading Benjamin Franklin’s bio on Wiki where I discovered Franklin had donated an amount worth $4,400 at the time to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia “in a trust to gather interest for 200 years.”  To paraphrase the article, this act of faith in the future prosperity of our country was mocked and criticized, but at present time the trust is worth over $5,000,000 and has been used for mortgage loans, scholarships for local schools, and to establish the Franklin Institute of Boston.  
Of other interest to me, Benjamin Franklin, at age 20, wrote down a set of virtues by which to live out his life:

  • “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 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; 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; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
  • “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
  • “TRANQUILLITY. 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.”