TRY THIS: Google “free images virtue”

Moral lessons of the new millennium.

What do you see?  I was shocked. Stunned may be the better word….. The image you see is the only one I saw that actually embraced the concept.  This is all there is for this Internet generation….lip gloss with unusual names.

The reason it comes up is this blog post that was floating on my fb feed.  It is discussing Modesty–great read by the way.  In it he says, “Nowadays, virtues have to be defended at a conceptual level. The world has always had un-virtuous men and women, but rarely has it been populated by so many people who deny the fundamental and intrinsic importance of virtue itself.” Well, of course, that got me to thinking…. 🙂

When was the last time you heard virtue discussed in the public square?  When was the last time you saw a list of “virtues”? And this one….When was the last time you saw an admonition to develop and live a virtuous life?  Okay, just this….how many virtues can you name? Stop searching!!!!!  Off the top of your head.  Then define ONE.  THEN how does one develop that?  How is is manifested? Hmmmmmmmmm?  I know.  I appalled myself.  Last but not least—what virtues do you honestly “practice”?  As in work at, get better at, and exhibit.

John Steinbeck was right, “We value virtue but do not discuss it.”  This, perhaps, explains many many things in our world today.  

So I started the search engines a hummin….

The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement….” 
― Aristotle

“A virtue is a right inner disposition, and a disposition is a tendency to act in certain ways. Disposition is more basic, lasting and pervasive than the particular motive or intention behind a certain action. It differs from a sudden impulse in being a settled habit of mind, an internalized and often reflective trait. Virtues are general character traits that provide inner sanctions on our particular motives, intentions and outward conduct.16

There are many key ideas in this definition, but for our purposes here I want to focus on two. First, a virtue is a tendencystemming from who you are at your core level, to act in certain ways. Second, it is not simply, therefore, an impulse, good or bad, but rather a settled habit of mind. Third, it has a function of providing judgment on motives and outward actions. Virtues, then, relate to who we are as people; our character.”

“But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.”  Edmond Burke

“He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.” 
― C.S. Lewis

“The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.”
(Analects 4.9)” 
― Confucius

So let’s start the conversation.  What are they?  Are they universal?  Are they fundamental and intrinsically important?  Does the difficulty is attaining them justify not trying?

Let’s not only discuss them, let’s reintroduce them into the public square. What difference might it make if girls were still named Prudence, Patience, Hope, Charity….or boys were named Capability, Justice, True, Honor, or Able.

If we turn our minds to that which is good and perfect it might return to public discourse. One never knows, it may even appear as “a tendency to act in certain ways”.  MY, how virtuous that would be!  🙂




This entry was posted in Children, Civility, Living, Manners, Media, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s