Ben Franklin

The Value I will be focusing on for my blog assignment this week is humility. When it comes to the word humility, in my mind it means being very humble. A person who shows humility is not someone who is either loud or boisterous. On the contrary they are silent and more than likely going to keep a modest opinion of themselves. In addition someone who has humility can show it by demonstrating their self-restraint from excessive vanity. Benjamin Franklin took a liking to this value but in a different way. He wrote in his autobiography that he was not one to actually acquire real humility as much as he was able to make it seem like he was. Ben writes of an example of his humility in his autobiography by saying “When another asserted something that I thought an error, I deny’d myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition.” (paragrapgh 17 chapter 9) An example of him being “humble” paying off is seen when he says “I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engag’d in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I propos’d my opinions procur’d them a readier reception and less contradiction.”(paragraph 17 chapter 9)


His argument for having humility in my mind is pretty logical. His argument is using this humble ways to combat a person’s pride. He says ”In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases.”(paragraph 19 chapter 9) I believe Ben franklin would like ever American to have this quality. I say this because Ben Franklin was a man who believed he knew what was best. He still is able to recognize things he sees a vices with in his own person. Being the kind of know it all he is. Ben Franklin believes if he needs humility to become an ideal person then definitely most of the American Public needs it as well. Overall it is not his goal to intentionally persuade people to see his own beliefs, but he is able to once he can describe the use for it.

One thought on “Ben Franklin”

  1. I like how you noticed that he draws a distinction between having true humility and just pretending that you have it. Pretending to be humble helps him succeed at his goals. But, as you note, he was a man who thought he knew what was best! Not exactly humble. My question for you is whether he really thought people needed true humility, or if he is simply acknowledging that pretending to be humble is useful for getting ahead.

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