Benjamin Franklin is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in American History.The numerous advancements contributed by Franklin were made possible by his hard work and dedication to the task at hand.Franklin's famous quote, "Dost thou love life?Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." (Franklin 2) Franklin did not stray from that philosophy, and spent very little time on leisure activities that he considered unproductive."Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself.I spent no time in taverns, games or frolics of any kind; and my industry in my business continued as indefatigable as it was necessary." (342)
Franklin tells of what life was like in eighteenth century America from the perspective of one individual heavily influenced by the increasing interest in the scientific along with a growth of rationalism and skepticism in religion.Deriving its foundations in the works of Shaftsbury and Locke, Deism, offered Franklin an opportunity for freedom from the restraint of traditional theology, and thus he began a quest for moral perfection.
From an early age Franklin reflected on personal behavior and social relationships in conjunction with the virtues that promoted self-improvement and self-advancement.Franklin conceived the idea of setting out a personally conducted project of moral perfection.In order to accomplish this, he created a short list of thirteen virtues and set up a weekly grid of those virtues.In his daily reflections, during his evening hours, he made notations of whether he accomplished the task or failed in the performance of a particular virtue on that day.If he had, failed, he made a mark in the grid recording the failure of that virtue.He began gradually working on virtues in the order of importance that he had assigned."Franklin's list of virtues was as follows: 1.Temperance. 2. Silence. 3. Order…