I am starting a new series of posts about virtues. Why you may ask? Well, it is a concept that comes up daily in my life. Whenever I need to achieve something, I always end up reading a few inspirational quotes from people I admire. And the other day, I asked myself what were these authors really trying to convey. What do they have in common? The answer: They are instructing me about the virtues we practice (or try to practice!) every single day. However, nowadays we seldom hear this word in the media. People talk about finding yourself and chasing your dreams, living with purpose and becoming a better you. All this sounds well but it is not new. These authors are talking about virtues, virtues that have existed since ancient times. So since I have found them so helpful, I would like to share them with you.
For this first post, I will try to define the word virtue.
Like I said before, the meaning of virtue is quite old. The Greeks and Romans wrote extensively about this subject. They defined it as a way to imitate God, the road to reach happiness. Virtue is harmony, measure, proportion, health, and purification. Mankind is truly happy only when we pursue the good intrinsic to our nature. And this good is to live according to reason. Therefore, the person who lives in this manner is a virtuous person. In other words, virtue is the force inside ourselves that potentiates our understanding and freedom, it makes possible human perfection, it makes us want to know, love, and do good things, it makes us freer and happier. So If you ever hear someone defining virtue as a bad and limiting thing, they are wrong. Take this Chinese proverb as an example, “With virtue you can’t be entirely poor; without virtue you can’t really be rich.” It does make you think, doesn’t it?