On Virtue: a mature perspective

Continuing from an earlier post

 As we begin the New Year, we try to reflect on the past and decide what worked and what did not.

Instead of making resolutions that we often break before the month is over, many decide to choose a word, or two, that will inspire and keep them focused on a specific idea or action for the whole year.

I chose to BE STILL. Getting frenzied often last year left me anxious and worried. This year I intend to totally focus on Being Still.

Every word is a world unto itself. It motivates the young, soothes the old and the sick, and generates revolutions throughout the ages of mankind. No matter what we choose as our motivational word this year, unless we live life in virtue, one word won’t be enough to keep us focused, help us grow, or connect us to our inner psyche and wisdom and to that of the Divine Universe.

g_acropolisThrough extensive reading and several courses, I have discovered that great teachers have been sent to the world at different times, to diverse cultures, according to each society’s individual needs and maturity. The ones I am more familiar with are the ancient Greek philosophers, two of which stand out for me because I have studied them more: Socrates and Pythagoras whose teachings and life was closer to Jesus than all the others. They were the forerunners who paved the path for Jesus and His teachings.

What do we exactly mean by “Virtue?”

To my understanding, Virtue is a good, moral habit or a character trait, valued as being good, not by specific groups or societies but by the entire Universe, throughout time.

As Pythagoras said over Twenty five centuries ago,

“Virtue is the power of getting Good with Justice.”

And Socrates advocated that

“You should improve yourself by acting good and be truly good from within your soul.”

(Ancient Greek Pearls of Wisdom for the 21st Century, available at: https://www.createspace.com/4324169)

Consider the following virtues and their meaning:

Acceptance means to believe that the circumstances we cannot alter are valuable and fitting to growth.

Benevolence or kindness is a personal temperament that enables an individual to be sensitive to the needs of others and act upon Good.

Honesty requires authenticity. Not to stage a fictitious image while keeping the precise one well hidden. As Pythagoras said,

It is necessary to be good, rather than to appear so.” 

Humbleness is the disposition to be humble as opposed to arrogant. To act from the heart. Not from the ego.

Integrity is moral dependability. It suggests both values and actions should be consistent.

Hope can only exist under the umbrella of faith. It’s a feeling that a need will be satisfied when the right time comes.

Compassion is an emotion. It cannot be seen or touched but can be felt in our inner heart as we deeply feel for another’s distress and have the longing to alleviate his pain.

Patience is the gift to endure hindrance, nuisances or pain.

Devotion is great love and loyalty for another being, a cause or idea

Faith is the key to a virtuous life. It means to have complete confidence in a person, a plan or on a set of beliefs and values.

Excellence is the fact of having good qualities in a high degree.

Magnanimity is bigheartedness. Refusing to be small.  Undertaking noble actions.

Trust means having confidence in self, others, and the Higher Power.

Truthfulness makes us trustworthy to the eyes of others.

Prudence suggests being careful in a sensible way, avoiding the excess, and living within our means. Socrates said:

“He is richest who is content with the least. For content is the wealth of nature.”

Generosity is openhandedness free of expectations. Sophocles said:

“Be beneficial to others with what you have and what you can; it’s your most kind act.”

Reverence is profound awe and respect.

Selflessness implies to thinking of, and acting for, the welfare of others rather the self.

Silence, both verbal and inner, is indispensable to our welfare and spiritual growth.

Strength can be revealed not only on the physical level but in the quiet and enduring way that helps us deal with life’s hardships.

Wisdom is a gift found in the heart within.  Once we have access to it, mainly by suffering, we’ll be empowered to utilize both knowledge and experience sensibly.

Courage is not just a physical attribute but rather a spiritual quality that enables one to face danger or pain without fear.

Justice is the concept of fairness and impartiality. Ethical correctness based on divine or natural laws, not our own narrow mildness.

Temperance denotes moderation and self restraint. The ability of staying calm and peaceful under all circumstances.

Instead of taking you to Scriptures, I thought of opening a small window and giving you the opportunity to glance at the Ancient Greek Philosophers’ perspective on virtue.  Taking it a little further, to show you how the Greek ideals might support you to improve both your personal and professional life. If you want the full view, open Ancient Greek Pearls of Wisdom for the 21st Century, a book written by John Kyriazoglou (https://www.createspace.com/4324169).

A CICA (Certified Internal Controls Auditor), B.A. (Hon-University of Toronto Canada) and an International Business Thinker, John, in his excellent book of Ancient Greek Pearls of Wisdom, has succeeded in making the challenging subject of ancient Greek philosophy uncomplicated and applicable to our problems in the 21st century. This straight forward inspiring handbook reflects the author’s in-depth knowledge of ancient and modern philosophies and his attitude on divinity, universal truths, and the power of the human spirit. His enlightening introductions, extraordinary collection of inspirational maxims and quotations – and their application to today’s life – his stories, recommendations, and prayers, all can help you unlock the divine powers of self and those or our emerging world, during a time when mostly needed. I particularly like his golden rules and recommendations, which I find relevant to today’s social context. I certainly recommend this book to everyone. Whether you are already on the right path or not, this book will keep you moving forward, as these rules can inspire and enable you to master the game of every aspect of life, fulfill your potential, and empower you to live the virtuous and blessed life you were meant to live.

What other  virtues would you add to my list? How does Virtue fit in your life?

Love to read your thoughts in the comments!

 

About the Author

Katina Vaselopulos

Originally from Greece, Katina Vaselopulos and her husband, have made their home in Chicago for the past 47 years. Their four children and nine grandchildren offer countless adventures. Katina also enjoys cooking and baking, teaching and learning, reading and writing. Her soon-to-be-published book, Sailing Toward Ithaca, takes the reader on a journey through one year of her life. She invites the readers along, to sail through life’s journey open to all possibilities and to nurture relationships with self, others, and God by striving for self-knowledge and inner growth. Other projects include What Is Cooking in Niles, a cookbook of Greek cuisine, and a thesis, “Dostoyevsky’s Major Novels: Polemics against Liberal Thought,” for which she received high honors at Northeastern University of Illinois.

Comments

  1. La Mc Coy

    Beautiful!

    • Thank you Laura mou for stopping by! May this year bring you closer to your goals and make all your dreams come true!

  2. Wonderful post! Loved the way you said ‘Every word is a world’ ! :)

    • Thank you Lotta for coming over. Happy you appreciate my thoughts on virtue. However, I borrowed ‘Every word is a world’ from John Kyriazoglou. He is a great thinker and a teacher who blesses me with his wisdom. You would love his book.

      Have a wonderful year filled with love and joy, purpose, and accomplishments!

  3. Appreciate your affinity for reflection

    • Thank you Christa for your support and positive responce to who I am and how I come accross. Blessed from knowing you and for always inspiring me out or my comfort zone.

      May this year God fills your life and your heart with every blessing from Above!
      May the virtues you live your life with bring sunshine and love to our world!

  4. La Mc Coy

    Love this!

    • You must, Laura mou, if you came over twice! :)
      I love you and am inspired by you every day to be the best I can. Thank God for all the wonderful role models in my life.

      Be blessed, my friend!

  5. Katina, what an inspiring post! Although Greek, I have to become re-acquainted with Greek philosophers and the book by John seems to be the best way to do it!

    Thank you!

    Maria (MM Jaye)

    • Thank you Maria mouvfor coming over! I am glad you were inspired to delve deeper into our Greek wisdom and into our great philosophers who were sent to this world to make it better. Amazing how current they still remain, even after more than two thousand years. John’s book is amazing. I was blessed to see it evolve to what the final version came to be. He is a great thinker, poet, writer, philosopher, and friend!

  6. Roisin

    Great post Katina! You’ve inspired me of any easy way to stay grounded in what matters to me.

    Kindness, honesty, and perseverance are particularly important virtues to me. I also value learning and personal growth.

    I’m going to check out the book you recommended – it sounds great.

  7. Roisin, wonderful seeing you here!

    Glad you felt inspired to remain grounded to your convictions. Kindness, honesty, and perseverance are important for everyone’s personal growth, which ends up inspiring a better world…our hope for, and responsibility to, our Earth.

    We all need good teachers to grow in wisdom, and the Ancient Greek sages and philosophers are still on the top of the list, teaching and inspiring for over 3.000 years.

    You will love John’s book! A great tome that shares his and pearls of ancient wisdom much needed to improve all fields of life.

    Wishing you great success in your writing journey and the best in life!

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