Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. Marcus Aurelius
Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good. Buddha
Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices. Benjamin Franklin
Being a person of virtue, means we are well grounded in morals and principles. We operate within certain limits. There are internal rules, a “code of living”, guiding and directs us in all that we say and do.
We conduct ourselves in ways that are consistent with what we were taught by parents and grandparents and what is described as “good and proper” behavior. We have within us a core, an inner framework that monitors how we conduct ourselves. Mostly it had been programmed by our upbringing and environment. Some say that it goes much further and has a spiritual or supernatural basis. It is often described as a conscience. It operates as an inner compass or as automatic pilot. It provides steady feedback and has checks and balances. Our compass and our conscience are both intended to keep us on the right path. If we live and act consistently with its guidance we are in harmony and stay on course. If we do not, we likely lose our bearings, wander, and often lose our way.
Hopefully, we are programmed in such a fashion that being virtuous is our true internal guidance and is what we seek to do. Being virtuous is consistent with our core values. If we ignore these things, there is inner discord and likely major problems with our psyche, self-image, self-esteem and a whole litany of other self-issues. We become un-focused, having emotional and psychological problems with causes us to be less than we should be.
If our goal is to become the best possible us, it is imperative that being virtuous is something we concentrate and focus our efforts upon. Being loving, kind, charitable, honest, having integrity, hard working, and so many more are all virtuous attributes we should seek to, master, own and to exhibit. Lacking these attributes will prevent us from achieving our true potential.
Being a person of virtue means having “Rules of Conduct” that guide us each and every day. We answer to high standards and focus on choosing right actions because they are the right thing to do. Often, we are faced with choices that would allow us to take advantage of others, but because we are “virtuous” we do not do such things. We do not need someone looking over our shoulder, or someone monitoring us; because we already holding ourselves accountable to high standards of conduct.
Challenge: Your conscience tries to keep you on track; sending alarms and warnings when you mess up or break the rules. When you ignore its warnings, the more callous you will become. Listen to your conscience. Keep in mind your “rules of conduct”. Keep them forefront in your mind. When you are reminded of them, the more likely you will do right things. Staying a virtuous person is done by one virtuous decision at a time.
Wisdom: The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, “I was wrong. Sidney J Harris
Spiritual Food for Thought:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
There is a supernatural element to our conscience. It is God’s Holy Spirit trying to guide and direct us. We may listen, often we do not and ignore Him. When we ignore Him, more times than not we make mistakes. The more we listen, the more we will make good and virtuous choices and decisions. We must choose to listen. The truth is that we will fail miserably in life if we do not allow God to equip and empower us to live virtuously.
Prayer: Please guide me and direct me in all that I say and do.