The second session of Ben Franklin Circles met at the Santa Barbara Central Library on February 26, 2018 with 24 Santa Barbara community members.
The monthly ongoing in-depth dialogues based on Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues are a program of the Santa Barbara Public Library and a significant Thematic Learning Initiative outcome, originally initiated from Arts & Lectures’ two-day residency with and presentations by Emily Esfahani Smith in November 2017.
The local Ben Franklin Circles leader is Programming & Marketing Librarian Jen Lemberger, who has connected the SB Library with national organizations such as New York City’s 92nd Street Y, the Hoover Institution at Stanford and Citizen University in Seattle. The second session in Santa Barbara and first virtue to be discussed was Temperance which Franklin defined as “Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.” The group was broken into two self-lead circles, before joining back together and sharing highlights from each discussion. The diverse conversations covered modern day interpretations of moderation, gluttony, privilege, accountability, self-control and discipline. Also raised were keystone habits, digital overload impacts, regulation influencing others, and supporting “thy neighbor”.