Recently I’ve given a lot of thought to what our society and culture holds in esteem. I’ve written several posts about how we now accept lying as part of our daily living. From the traditional used car sales person huckstering for every additional warranty and loan percentage they can get to the added procedures ordered by doctors, to the average sales clerk in Barnes & Nobles who has been trained to focus on add-on sales. I have written about how and why we need to return to truth. But there are other aspects I’ve neglected. I’ve been wondering in this digitized age what has become of virtues? I have wanted to write a post about virtues for some time now, but I’ve run into a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, cloaked in a conundrum.
Everyone has their own view of what is a virtue. Such as;
- Four Cardinal Virtues, as illustrated above, left to right – Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, and Justice.
- Nine Noble Virtues – Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Self Reliance, Industriousness, and Perseverance.
- Five Biblical Virtues – Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience.
- Seven Wisdom Virtues – Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility.
- Ben Franklin had thirteen – Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, Humility.
- Seth Godin’ s new book Wisdom, Inc. says there are 26, but here are the first 10 – Attention To Detail, Balanced Lifestyle, Fearlessness, Grace Under Pressure, Hard Work, Initiative, Persistence, Intelligence, Responsibility, Self Motivation.
- VirtueScience.com tries to cover all the bases with – Acceptance, Accountability, Ambition, Assertiveness, Beauty, Benevolence, Bravery, Caring, Charity, Chastity, Caution, Cleanliness, Commitment, Compassion, Confidence, Consideration, Contentment, Cooperation, Courage, Courtesy, Creativity, Curiosity, Defiance, Dependability, Detachment, Determination, Devotion, Diligence, Discernment, Discretion, Discipline, Eloquence, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Excellence, Faith, Faithfulness, Flexibility, Focus, Forbearance, Forgiveness, Fortitude, Friendliness, Frugality, Generosity, Gentleness, Grace, Gratitude, Helpfulness, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Humbleness, Humility, Humor, Idealism, Integrity, Impartiality, Industry, Innocence, Joyfulness, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Liberality,Love, Loyalty, Magnanimity, Majesty, Meekness, Mercy, Moderation, Modesty, Obedience, Openness, Orderliness, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Persistence, Piety, Prudence, Punctuality, Purity, Purposefulness, Reliability, Resoluteness, Respect, Responsibility, Restraint, Reverence, Righteousness, Selflessness, Self Sacrifice, Service, Sensitivity, Silence, Simplicity, Sincerity, Sobriety, Spontaneity, Steadfastness, Strength, Tact, Temperance, Thankfulness, Thrift, Tolerance, Toughness, Tranquility, Trust, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Understanding, Unity, Vitality, Wisdom, Wonder, Zeal.
Everybody from Aristotle to the conservative pundit William Bennett, to internet guru Seth Godin, to the local pastor I have breakfast with occasionally has had their idea of what is and in some cases, what isn’t a virtue. If you Google search “virtues” you find 6,790,000 results. Not bad, certainly enough reading to keep one occupied at the pool for the summer.
Every virtue listed is a good one. If I could nail even one, I could die a happy man. In the face of this deluge of virtues I am going to pick out one a week from http://www.VirtueScience.com and write a post about it. It will be published each Monday…think of it as setting the internal compass for the week. I’ll go in alphabetic order so you will know what is coming. BTW…if you counted…or if you care…there are 119.
Along the way, swamp my in-box with comments. I am anxious to know what you think.