Benjamin Franklin - Moderation

The ninth virtue developed by Benjamin Franklin was moderation. He described moderation as - Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Franklin advises us to avoid extremes in anything. One should be moderate. Everything in extreme is bad. Excess rain causes flood and no rain causes draught. Excess enjoyment causes senses to become dull and no enjoyment makes life very uninteresting. Excess eating causes health problems and so do not eating anything.

The second part of his description is about resentment. When someone causes you an injury, it is natural for the aggrieved person to resent it. In this situation, Franklin advises that one should tolerate it and not resent it so much. Basically, do not go to the extreme. One could say that if you have to get angry on someone, get mad, but be in control!

Various religions in the world have advocated the virtue of moderation. The Buddhists say, follow the middle path. In Taoism, the ancient Chinese philosophy, moderation is considered as a key part of one’s personal development. The Taoists believe that there is nothing that cannot be moderated. One's actions, one's desires and even one's thoughts can be moderated to an extent.

In ancient Greece, Moderation was a principle of life. In the temple of Apollo at Delphi there is the inscription Meden Agan which means 'Nothing in excess'. Greek philosophers believed that health was seen to flow from observing moderation – in exercise, in study, and in diet.

Thus moderation has been a key principle throughout history of mankind and many cultures and religions have extolled this virtue. This is certainly a key virtue for the student of success

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