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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Defining the 13 Virtues of Bliss

Before I even begin today's post I must tell you that rocks!  I used a variety of dictionary sites as well as wikipedia when doing my research but time after time had what felt to be the most blissful definitions. The synonyms section is particularly thorough but even the standard listings provided more nuance and depth then other sites. If you are interested in conducting your own inquiry or if you just want to know what a word means then is the place to go!

So here are the definitions I have chosen for my 13 Virtues of Bliss:

1. JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.

2. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.*

3. CREATIVITY - The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.

4. PASSION - a fervent or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; experience of strong love or sexual desire.

5. WHIMSY - extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression; an odd or fanciful notion.

6. SERENITY - the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; composure, peacefulness, peace.

7. INQUIRY - a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge; study, scrutiny, exploration.

8. COMMUNITY - Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

9. ROMANCE - To court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; a strong fascination or enthusiasm for something.

10. GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful.

11. MOXIE - The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; vigor; verve; pep.

12. HUMILITY - The quality or condition of being humble; imitate Jesus and Socrates.*

13. SURPRISE - A sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment; to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly.

* = Taken directly from Ben Franklin's virtues.

I am expecting that  I may tweak my virtues' definitions and I also welcome suggestions from you.  This entire game is a work in progress so I welcome your feedback at anytime.

Next post: How to play the game

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. Kathy, I'm really enjoying reading this, and seeing how you've been developing it. One question about your list: how are you defining community? Are you considering it to be primarily the people that you come into contact with on a day-to-day basis? Are you thinking about your relationship to the civic communities in which you're embedded? Does it encompass questions of our relationship to some greater whole (e.g. social justice issues or politics)? I'm curious because while I was staying at home, my world got very small for a while, but then I got far more involved than ever before in the development of our urban neighborhood and I felt part of something much larger than in the past. Now that I've returned to work, my daily life connects me to more people, but in some ways, my world has shrunk again, because I have less time to be involved in anything outside of work and home. Since that's my current struggle, and since I define it as a community issue, I'm interested in how you're seeing it.

  2. First of all, Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. I am so happy to know you are reading along.

    When I think of community I primarily think in terms of "fostering" it. Which means I am interested in helping people feel connected to each other and this includes the greater world outside of my home and neighborhood. I think my online life helps me feel connected to the world as a whole but I am also interested in looking more proactively out in the physical world. We are moving to a new city and neighborhood NEXT weekend (Yikes! I haven't begun to pack!) and it will be interesting to integrate my old community, which is only 20 minutes away by car, with the new one. I resisted taking an active roll in civic matters here in Mountain View because I knew we were going to move at some point. I have decided that even if our new home is only a temporary one (We think 3-5 years) I don't want to sit on the sidelines anymore. As I said this is a work in progress so it should be interesting to see how things unfold.


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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