Here’s a little bit of trivia for your June 26th: on this day, in 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress of the United States established a postal system. The first Postmaster General was Benjamin Franklin. He had been a postmaster for decades, you see; so upon his return from England, he was appointed chairman of the committee to look into a postal system. Given his experience, he seemed an easy choice for chief executive officer of the Unisted States Postal Services of the 13 colonies.
He was an interesting fellow, that Benjamin Franklin.
Did you know, when he was twenty years old, he developed 13 virtues in which to develop his character?
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. | Tranquility. 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.
What’s even more impressive, he did not attempt to accomplish them all at once. As a matter of fact, he dedicated himself to one a week–figuring any more than that, a bonus.
Now that’s the way to live. Strive to be a better person, but don’t expect miracles; strive to improve, a little each day, but don’t beat yourself up if you fall short.
So whether you won or lost this week, I hope you feel good in the attempt. And may you get just enough rest, just enough productivity, just enough laughter and time spent with friends, to try again, next week . . .