March 21

Today's quotation:

People of virtue think beyond personal interests and consider how their actions affect the whole.  They are less concerned with what they can get for themselves, and more concerned with how they can contribute to the community.


Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy

Today's Meditation:

I'm concerned with virtue because I know that it's an important element of living my life fully and positively.  Virtue may be a rather abstract concept, and it may be relative, but it definitely is important for me to consider what I truly believe to be virtuous and to do my best to live my life according to the constructs of virtue.

If I'm to be virtuous, I have to be so all the time.  There's no picking and choosing times and places to be virtuous and times and places not to be so.  That doesn't mean that I have to fix every problem I encounter or take care of other people's problems for them--but it does mean that I certainly won't be adding to the problems through my own greed or lack of consideration or courtesy.  If I'm virtuous, people will know that they can trust me, and they'll know that I'm there when and if they need me.  

My virtue is my choice, and it's something that definitely extends outward, or it doesn't exist.  My virtue helps the world by contributing to peace, safety, hope, love, compassion, and many, many more things.  It isn't about making my life better for me, but if I live virtuously, I know that my life will be better as a sort of side effect of the behaviors I choose to share with the world.

As Joseph says below, we may be tempted to think that we're virtuous because we didn't do any harm today, but the important question to ask ourselves is whether we did any good today.  If we haven't, we can't really consider ourselves virtuous--virtue requires an effort to do something good on our part, and it's an important part of any life lived fully.

Questions to consider:

How would you define virtue?  Why do we often think that it's merely the absence of bad or malice?

What kinds of virtuous acts can you undertake today?  Right now?

How can acting virtuously help our lives to be fuller and richer?
For further thought:

Virtue is not to be considered in the light of mere innocence, or abstaining from harm; but as the exertion of our faculties in doing good.

Joseph Butler

more on virtue

  
   

  

 

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