With November comes an opportunity to focus on two more of Ben Franklin’s virtues: Sincerity and Humility.

Interestingly, sincerity was thought of as a moral trait only a few centuries before Ben Franklin added it to his list of virtues. Prior to that, sincerity was used to describe the integrity of physical objects, such as a chair or a candle. It wasn’t until the 1500’s when sincerity was used to describe a person whose communication matched their inward state. “Use not hurtful deceit,” Franklin wrote, “think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.” Today, we might say he’s encouraging us to speak from our hearts. However, sincerity shouldn’t be confused with honesty. With all sincerity, one can say that the sky is purple, or that the Broncos are having a terrific 2022-23 season, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. 

Humility was the thirteenth and final virtue Ben Franklin added to his list. To learn more about why he was encouraged to add humility to his list of virtues, check out this short article