I believe that every person is capable of achieving greatness. The question is how do we begin. How do we acquire the virtues that will lead us to the attainment of human perfection? The answer lies in the family. “The family is the first school of virtues, that every society needs.” It is in the family where we begin to know ourselves. Through everyday activities, like eating lunch, sharing the same space, watching television, etc., we get to practice these virtues.
It is in this environment that we also are truly ourselves, where we feel more comfortable, where we are accepted for who we are and not for what we do. It is through this intimacy between family members that we will learn to know each other: our capabilities, our weaknesses, our good and bad habits, etc.
“It is here where we will learn the process of knowing oneself so that we might improve oneself in order to share and give oneself to others.” Phew, that sentence is a mouthful! I hope it makes sense! Let me explain a little further.
Let’s imagine a family: a daddy, a mommy, a son, and a daughter. They are planing a vacation and everyone has a different idea to where he or she would like to go. This would be a perfect time to learn and practice several virtues, but in this case we will narrow it to the virtue of listening. During situations such as theses, we will see, by the example that our parents give us, how we are supposed to listen, then we will compare our listening skills to theirs, and finally we will make the necessary improvements so that we may become better listeners. There it is! The process of getting to know, improve and sharing oneself! This is how we acquire and keep virtues in our lives.
The last point I would like to make is that the goal of a family is not to make each member act in the same manner or make them do and plan the same activities. The goal of the family is to make every member understand, respect and share an array of true and righteous criteria so that each member may act according to his or her individual style. For example, mommy and daddy are both responsible, but even though they share this virtue they do not lose their own uniqueness.