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The Missing Piece
in Education

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Benjamin Franklin's The Art of Virtue

Franklin's Philosophy of Life
in His Own Words

312 Pages
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Four Essential Virtues

While the stories and activities in The Seven C's of Thinking Clearly may be used to explore a wide range of virtues, the last four sections focus on the development of four specific virtues—responsibility, self-respect, respect for others, and trustworthiness. Following is a brief overview of the concepts, and the rationale for teaching them, to be found in each section.

Choosing to Be Personally Responsible

The lessons this section are designed to help students understand the following aspects of personal responsibility—ownership, rights, duty, and accountability. Since taking ownership of one’s choices is a prerequisite for the acquisition of all other virtues, learning about personal responsibility is a good place to begin in teaching character education and social skills.

As children learn to take ownership of their choices, to act within the boundaries of their rights and duties, and to accept accountability for their choices many wonderful things happen.

Choosing to Respect Myself

Self-respect is a pre-requisite for respecting others. Much of disrespectful behavior originates from people who are trying to build themselves up by tearing others down.

Self-respect is more than self-esteem and has little to do with ego. It can not be bestowed, nor is it dependent upon the approval of others. It can only be achieved through a virtuous and self-approving conduct, without which a person can never be wholly at peace or truly happy.

Self-respect requires a good understanding of one's self plus a healthy dose of self-discipline and self-reliance.

Choosing to Respect Others

There is an unfortunate tendency in many people to strive for ascendancy over others which is often expressed in brutal and unfeeling ways. There is an equally destructive tendency for people to focus on differences between themselves, without recognizing, either the things they have in common, or their mutual dependency.

Hence, a large portion of the human race, view themselves as adversaries rather than as fellow travelers striving for common goals.  And, instead of working together for their mutual benefit, they spend a great deal of time, energy, and resources in trying to destroy one another.

The virtues of caring, fairness, and citizenship lie at the very root of civilization itself and cannot be ignored or discarded without the risk of losing all that makes life worthwhile. It is the interest, as well as obligation, of every responsible adult to pass these virtues on to the next generation.

 Section Six - Choosing to be Trustworthy

A free society is built on trust. The less trust there is, the more laws there are. The more laws there are, the less freedom there is. The relationship is direct and inescapable.

Honesty and dependability are absolutely indispensable to the existence of trust.

Those who cannot be trusted cannot be relied upon. Thus, they are forever a risk, if not a danger, to themselves and others. Either, they will never obtain positions of trust and responsibiliy, or if they do, sooner or later, they will injure someone, and in doing so, will bring injury to themselves as well. 

The absence of trust can explain a great many difficulties and much of the unhappiness people experience in the world.





In this video course you will learn how to help young people:

  • Recognize when a choice may be life altering
  • 4 Simple Questions to Ask When Faced With Life Altering Choices
  • The Most Empowering Thing in the World
  • The Most Important Lesson any Child Can Learn

Bes Buy Offer

The Seven C's of Thinkig Clearly
Print and eBook Combination



Open QuoteThe imaginative activities and examples make the teaching fun and that's when teachers and students get excited.Close Quote
                                                Media Specialist
                                                Eden Prairie, MN

Open Quote. . .by far the most creative social skills program I have ever reviewed. Close Quote
                                                School Social Worker
                                                Terre Haute, IN

Open QuoteExtremely appropriate for my students. Skills they are lacking and need desparately. They stayed involved and were able to participate.Close Quote
                                                Elementary Teacher
                                                Lindon, UT

Open QuoteThe students were very attentive. They enjoyed the subject matter and were able to bring their own experiences into the discussion and relate to it.Close Quote
                                                Elementary Teacher
                                                Highland, UT


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                                                3rd Grade Students
                                                Eden Prairie, MN

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