A virtue is more or less a character trait that is regarded as good. Virtues are what make great people, such as Socrates or Confucius, and takes a large roll in how you will be remembered by society after your death. So, when you read this, please take this as seriously as you can…. please put these ideal traits into use.
One of the most important virtues and broadest is purity. Purity is the being unsullied by sin or moral wrong. This is unmistakably the most important virtue, because without it, you can never acquire the others. Purity of heart is blooming the same colors in the middle of the wilderness when no one sees you.
Following purity we have magnamity. Usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. When you think about the great heroes of the middle ages and their nobility, think about what they would do in the face of danger and distraught. Would they take the cheap way out and abandon their cause? Or would they stick to what is right and be strong? This is what I want you to think about when I say to have great magnamity. This is a highly idealistic trait to have and it is something that many people search their entire lives and are never able to find; however, if you are able to acquire this, then you will be a person that everyone looks up to.
Magnamity leads to acting with benevolence. Benevolence is the most basic disposition to do good for others and yourself. Magnamity relies on in, because you can be willing to face danger incorrectly; however, with benevolence, you can face the problem with good intentions only… being strong all the way. It is all a necessity for being pure, because, without such a strong desire to do good, you cannot be unsullied by moral wrong. A benevolent mind, and the face assumes the patterns of benevolence. An evil mind, then an evil face.
Being benevolent means, not only the intention to do good, but the desire and unconscious wanting to do good. With this, you are naturally a kind and heartwarming person that everyone comes to for help. Being remembered as the person that, always, was nice and opened their door to strangers, is everyone’s desire. On the other hand, most people end their days being selfish and hurting others to get what they desire. If others do evil to you, then do not seek revenge… however, return good for their evil.
Chastity… having purity through conduct and intention Being human, no one is perfect, so we may slip up being nice all the time. However, we can still be trying to be as pure and good as possible. I know many people who intended to do good, yet may have done something wrong…. that doesn’t make them an immoral or bad person. Chastity is the generative energy, which, when we are loose, dissipates and makes us unclean, when we are continent invigorates and inspires us. Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.
Many times, I try to do something around the house to try to be nice. However, I could have done something slightly wrong… that doesn’t make me a bad person. I tried to do good and it just happened to be the opposite. People will still appreciate the effort to do something nice.
To have chastity, you must also be sincere. Sincerity is being free from pretense or deceit in manner or actions. If you are aspiring to always be kind and always “trying” to do good, then you must also be sincere in your actions. No matter what the reason is for being deceitful, I find that it is still the right thing to do to be nice. If a bully at school tries to start a fight, then that doesn’t mean you should trick him/her into foolishness or hurting them. Return goodness for evil.
To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we should be credible; credible we must be truthful. Truthfulness is something that many people lack and should be embraced as a moral righteousness.
This leads to ,the every so desirable, ability to be honest. A wise biblical proverb says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1). Your name and reputation are all you have. Once they’re gone, you’re broke. Wise people resist the short-term gain of deceit because they know honesty pays big dividends in the long run. On the other hand, if you take the easy way out and lie, then you risk your own good name. Which do you prefer? A good name or great riches? You keep your name after death, but you lose your riches.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Compassion is an extraordinary value to procure, and can lead to happiness, not just for you, but for everyone around you. It is the sympathetic awareness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. This ties in with being benevolent. Always try to help others to feel better and help them when they need help, because, sometime you will need help… and it is nice to have someone there for you too. Not only that, but the feeling of helping others is a phenomenal feeling and can not be described with any amount of words.
“During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’ Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.” ~Joann C. Jones
To be compassionate also requires us to be caring. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. I have a rule that I say, at least, one positive thing to every person I see. As silly as it may seem… it makes an incredible difference in people’s day. You will soon find that, when people are near you, they are much happier. That, with a few words, you can make someone’s day a billion times better. Honestly, I wish that people told me something good about myself a few times a day. It may make me a happier person too.
Sensitivity is also an important factor in being a sincere and compassionate person. It is the heightened awareness of oneself and others within the context of social and personal relationships. A light, tender, sensitive touch is worth a ton of brawn. Imagine a kind, openhearted and sensitive person talking to you about something very near to your heart, like the death of a parent. Now, imagine talking about the same thing with someone who is equally compassionate, but lacks the sensitivity to have empathy. They may care a great deal, but are incapable of showing their emotions to you…. and emotional understanding can mean everything to a friend.
Gentless is also an important virtue to possess. Gentleness is freedom or separation from all harshness, roughness or intensity. It is felt in a soft summer breeze or a soft touch on your shoulder. It is seen in a balmy lake, the delicate way snowflakes fall from the sky or the graceful gliding of leaves as they drift to the ground on an autumn afternoon. It is heard in soft voice of a shepherd as he sings to his sheep, a husband as he whispers, “I love you” into the ear of his resting wife, or the soft cascade of water as it flows over the rocks of a meadow brook. Gentleness is a pleasant, easily entreated quality that invites warmth, comfort and truth. Gentleness creates an environment which makes learning possible and living pleasurable. All those sharp, coarse, abrasive edges of conflict have been removed.
First of all, we were born with a sinful nature. It is a part of our history. Our brains have deep paths worn into them from all the years we have “walked according to the flesh.” Our feet have become so used to slogging through harsh muck and mire that, even after we have been born-again, we often still act like we are weighted down with sin or shackled by heavy burdens. Living the harsh, cruel life is our natural default. It requires no thought, no discipline, no mind renewing. Gentleness is a rare quality in many believer’s lives and homes because we often still think and live like we did when we were heathens. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In our high-speed, force-fed and in-your-face world, it will always be the still, calm and comforting voice which has the power to gain an audience and make a difference. Gentleness is one of those high visibility traits that the Lord uses to set off His children from the others. It is the “salt and light” which has the power to draw others to life-changing truth. I guess that is why those who exhibit such qualities are so very precious, so extra-ordinary, so much like gold or diamonds…so much like Jesus. Our homes and churches and businesses yearn for it–need it. Learning and living become a joyful experience when gentleness is the rule of the day. Once you taste it, you’ll never want your old life back again–and neither will anyone else.
On the other hand, however, we must also act with assertiveness. Assertiveness is standing up for your right to be treated fairly. It is expressing your opinions, needs, and feelings, without ignoring or hurting the opinions, needs, and feelings of others. Qualities of assertiveness and gentleness need to go hand in hand in order for there to be the balance needed for respect, peace, and success in life. A wise man lives his life with a perfect balance of gentleness and assertiveness. Do not mistake assertiveness with aggressiveness. The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others.
The equal rights movement for African American’s was surely not an aggressive demand at all. However, it was very assertive to be heard and they succeeded in making a change. Changing anything requires a level of assertiveness with whomever is in charge.
Forbearance is required to keep your assertiveness from becoming aggressive. It is a good-natured tolerance. Never become aggressive with an opposing idealist. If another person/group disagrees with you and fights what you desire, then remember this: The tree can teach you forbearance and tolerance. It offers shade to all, irrespective of age, sex or religion, nationality or status. It helps with fruit and shade even to the foe who lays his axe on its trunk. Remember the tree when someone stands up against what you want. Never be aggressive with someone…
We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop. If a bully is being mean to you, just return his hatred with true kindness. He will stop soon enough.
If we fail to receive what we are being assertive for, then we must also have acceptance for what has happened. Sometimes, we should consider circumstances, especially those that can not be changed, as satisfactory. This does not mean that we should always accept what we are given, however. We always capable of change. It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. If we want to remove the law of gravity, then maybe we should just accept the fact that we can not. Not everything can be won or changed, and part of being wise is knowing when to accept what we have and be happy.
As important as accepting a situation is, a person of high virtue should also be flexible. Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail. It is a very hard task to become flexible. Over time, people get more strict with their time and how they act. Try to keep the flexibility of being youthful. As best said by Lao-Tzu: “Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.”
Always stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. When planning to do a project for school, it is a great idea to set up times to work on it. However, if something else comes up that hinders your abilities to work, maybe you should be flexible and move the times around a little. Planning is good, but balance it with flexibility.
To be flexible; on the other hand, fortitude is necessary. It is the strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage. You must have the strength to change your original plans and not be sad. A true man is one who overcomes the ups and downs of life with fortitude. One should not recoil before reverses of fortunes. One should bravely face them and overcome them. If you are planning to do a project in an hour and you become extremely ill, then do not just give up and not do the project. You shouldn’t just push through the sick and do the project either or else it will be less than your best. Don’t sulk in your misery, just move the time your going to work to a better one.
If a bully at school is being mean to you in the hallway, don’t just be depressed and be hurt by him. Be flexible… maybe find another hallway to go down to avoid the situation. Never let a situation make you give up.
People do not begin by asking our ability, only our availability, and if we prove our dependability, we have the chance to increase our capability. Being dependable is a very important virtue in life. Many men have the knowledge to do something, however, if you ask him to do something, he may not do it. In our lives, we want to be that person that, when someone asks us to do something for them, we are either honest and tell them we can’t or we do it.
We must also be trustworthy if we are to be dependable. No one wants to have to depend on someone they can’t trust to do a job correctly. Also, you will be looked more highly upon if you are trustworthy. A decietful and manipulative person lacks any long-term friends. The trustworthy person has many close friends that are always there for them and care for them. Being trustworthy also means many other things too…. it tells people that you are a good person…. someone who lives by a set of morals and puts other people before themselves. If you are trustworthy, then it will show everyone all of the other virtues that you have.
To be a reliable friend and worthy of trust for a job, you must have the wisdom to back you up. Wisdom is the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight. Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself. Many times, following your intuition/instincts is one of the best forms of commons sense. Wisdom does not mean the data in your text book or the formula’s in math… it is the combination of experience, intuition, and insight. This takes people a lifetime to learn, and for many people, they never gain this ability.
A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking, but a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed. ;p
A wise man must also have understanding of what he knows and his own life. Understanding is the comprehension and assimilation of knowledge. True understanding is nearly impossible for any one person, but the understanding of some or most of it is a virtue that nearly no one has.
In math, it is not necessary to understand where a formula or method derives from. However, if you have a desire to excel at what you know, it is helpful to understand where it comes from, why it comes from that, how it works, etc. Be weary though… the moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.
If you have a strong understanding of an art or of life, then never forget to continue to wonder. Wondering is the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising. Never lose your arousing curiosity for strange/unknown things. Once you stop learning, you stop understanding, therefore, you lose your ability to be wise.
If you train in the arts, no matter which you focus on, you should never stop wondering what, why, and how. If you do, then you will lose your zeal for any form of art.
Through zeal, knowledge is gained; through lack of zeal, knowledge is lost; let a man who knows the double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow. Zeal is the feeling of strong eagerness; Tireless devotion. This ties directly into continuous wonder. Never ever ever lose your zeal for something. It is what keeps you alive and learning. Without zeal, you lack every other virtue in life. You will be incapable of wanting to have the virtues I have written to you about. Whatever you do, always keep the zeal in your life.
One reason many people lose their interest in any form of art is their lack of zeal. Only the greatest of artists and persons have a zeal that is just as strong as when they started. Nothing gets old or monotonous.
You may have zeal; however, without diligence, you lack the ability to learn through your eagerness. A person can practice all they want, but only diligent practice makes for continual improvement. Diligence consists of being conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task; giving the degree of care required in a given situation.
Sometimes I find myself practicing and going into the “average routine” of the practice. I then must correct myself and focus on the training at hand. The more focused you are on what you do right and wrong, the more you learn and improve upon. The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
Ambition is having a strong desire for success or achievement. It is necessary to have the ambition to succeed before obtaining the diligence to do well. Firstly, you should have such a strong desire to have the wisdom and knowledge of something that you are willing to work a lifetime to get it. If you have diligence without the ambition to do well, then you will lose your diligence over time.
Ambition is also extremely important for everything else in life. If you gain the wisdom and intelligence over many years of diligence and ambition, but then become content with where you are at… then you go no where. Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
If you want the world to see your years of diligent practice, then you must put the wisdom to use. Use your strong ambition to go far in the world and be remembered after your life.
Through all of your training, however, never forget to keep your tact. Tact is keeping in consideration when dealing with others and to avoid giving offense. It is more than common for an ambitious person to “step on” people, when climbing the steps to higher knowledge. It is easy to become aggravated with others in life, but make sure to keep from offending them. Even if you dislike their ethical laws.
If we are to be pure and benevolent, then we must make sure to keep our tact. Never hurting or offending anyone on your way through life. Always always always remember that there are others around you and to keep from accidentally hurting them. More than that though, tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.
This is where we must discuss eloquence. Eloquence is the powerful and effective use of language. Fluent, persuasive and articulate speech. The finest eloquence is that which gets things done. This is where it may become difficult to be truthful. Many politicians have persuasive language, but make sure to keep your speeches honest. Eloquence is what brings people to you and what gets things done for you; however, never abuse this virtue.
Many a leader have abused their eloquent speaking skills and do moral wrongs. What we want with our eloquence is to make positive changes for society, helping others, and avoid hurting others. It is absolutely necessary to have tact before eloquence.
With eloquence comes respecting others and their abilities and rights. Respect is the admiration for others. Treating people with due dignity. Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves. Even the bully that verbally attacks you in the halls deserves your wholehearted respect, because if you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.
One of my goals in life is to better other people. Not to make them better people, but to help them to help themselves to become the best that their human bodies can be. Friend or foe, I feel that they all deserve respect and should be loved for who they are.
If you respect others, also be thankful for what you know/have and respect yourself. Being thankful is having warm, friendly feelings of gratitude. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
I find that, if you focus on the negative things in life, you will become a darker and more less productive person. However, if you focus on the positives in life, then you will be in much brighter spirits and your productivity in life will be phenomenal. This is something that deserves an entire book to be written about, but my short description will have to do.
Be careful though, if you are too thankful and look at the abilities you have all the time as great, then you may become egotistical. Always stay humble. Being humble is being modest; not arrogant or boastful. You will find that he who is humble is confident and wise. He who brags is insecure and lacking.
Trying to avoid hurting others, I stay as humble as possible. To the extent that I destroy my trophies and remove them. Now, this may or may not be extreme, but I find that I can not live know that visitors may feel hurt by seeing the things I have earned. People who brag tend to be insecure and want the positive reinforcement from others for their achievements, however, if you are confident, then there is no reason for boasting.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
If you want to attain the virtues that i’ve discussed you must have a great amount of discipline. Discipline is the trait of being well behaved and under control. By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character. Without it, you will achieve very little. To practice these virtues, you must have the discipline to maintain them. I never said that having these virtues is easy…. in fact, it is extremely rare to find anyone with even a few of these, if any at all.
Whenever you have a rudimentary understanding and implementation of these virtues, something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment. My goal in life is to make you a better person than I ever was, am, or will be. This list is like a checklist for improvement. If you like, then we may make a practice sheet to train and hone these virtues to become a way of life.
Never be too disciplined, however, always be creative with your life. Creativity is basically the ability to create. A quality involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. This is something that, even now, many people lack. If there is anything that I am writing my future children, please let it be creativity. It is essential to make a large difference and be happy with your life. Creativity is what makes you YOU and not the other person at the other end of the lunch table. How can you tell ants apart? You can’t…. but then again, do they have individualistic ideas?
Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.
We are nearing the end of the list…. these are virtues that I hope that you have at the end of your lifetime.
Tranquility… this is being serenely quite and peaceful; undisturbed. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. My goal in life is to become perfectly calm… to have achieved a sense of resting in my mind. This is why I believe that tranquility can only be reached when at old age. There is nothing you can do to speed up the learning of virtues that would bring calmness to mind aside from meditation. “The real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility.” -Swami Sivananda
And lastly, one of the final and most important virtues for yourself is silence. It is the inner peace. Being silent. Not to be mistaken with tranquility… I think the most important virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to “gods” who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
I have listed each virtue that I find important, and I hope that you can find a use for them. Even if you practiced one a year, you could have made every single one of them a habit… I didn’t write this just because I thought it would be “fun”, I wrote this so that you, as the reader, could benefit from my opinions and views. Even if you disagree. Thank you