No. 1069



As I am sure you know, every four years we elect a president of these United States of America, who in turn selects a running mate to serve in office with him. I say him because as I write this, we have never had a woman president.
Over the years we have had many contentious elections where the various candidates have been less than civil to each other. However, during my lifetime we have never had an election as mean-spirited, contentious, ugly, and almost completely void of Christian virtue as today. As a result, we have lost something very special that our forefathers envisioned when they created this Republic -- respect for the office. If we don’t respect ourselves and others, at least we should respect the highest office in the land that belongs to all the people.
To say it very simply, we have let money ruin us and we are all the losers. This is what I thought of the other day when I read something about Benjamin Franklin, a true patriot who was very instrumental in creating the American system of government that has been the envy of the world. At this point I am going to say something that you may not agree with: we don’t need to change our system, we just need better people running for office, those who “respect” the office and will not stoop to the level that we are experiencing today.
Here is what I read about Benjamin Franklin that may help to steer us back to the right track. It begins: “In 1726, (and remember the Declaration of Independence was not signed until 1776, 50 years later) at the age of 20, while on an 80-day ocean voyage from London back to Philadelphia, he developed a ‘plan’ for regulating his future conduct. He was partially motivated by Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think on these things.”
He followed his plan “pretty faithfully” even to the age of 79, when he finally revealed it in his writings. After he wrote about it, he was even more determined to stick with the plan for his remaining days because of the happiness he had enjoyed thus far by following it. His plan is made up of the following virtues, each with short descriptions:
“1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation. 2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. 3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. 4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. 5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing. 6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. 7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly. 8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. 9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation. 11: Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. 12. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
Friend, whether you realize it or not, there is enough meat there for several meals.
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