What Virtues Do You Stand For?

I want to raise my glass to celebrate the virtues of humankind, not critique their moral failings. For what a dull life it would be to overlook the light and see only darkness. Sure, this darkness ought to be recognized, but only as the shadow of the ultimate light.

It’s not the flaws of people that we should focus on, but on the ideals they embody and the moral virtues they possess.

What have you built and what have you done? What are you aiming toward in the light of your innermost soul? I do not care where you stumble, and I’m only interested in so far as it kept you from the heights which you were striving. Focus on the strive, not the stumble.

Every human being has flaws, but not everyone excels in their virtue. I don’t care about what makes you a human, I care about what has made you a god. When in your virtue have you overcome the desires of the mortal life to strive for the eternal fulfillment of virtue? Excellence of character is much older than our mortal lives. The virtues we admire have been around long before we were born and will exist long after we die. As far as I’m concerned, virtue is eternal. When we express this timeless virtue, we embody the Divine force of prosperity that brings light to the darkness.

Although on a practical level, I do care about where you have stumbled. As people of goodwill, we should seek to advise one another and help us along the way as we strive for virtue and excellence of character. Learning experiences and growth from times when we miss the mark are essential to understanding the good life. But on a moral level, I hesitate to judge one’s intentions and character based on flaws and wrongdoings. Perhaps it’s naive, but I believe most folks’ hearts are in the right place, and that they’re just trying their best given the circumstances.

But the difference between folks is, that some people have stopped trying to do their best. They’ve not only missed the mark but stopped aiming for it entirely. They’ve lost interest in striving toward goodness and virtue. They’ve given up their quest for the highest ideal. And they let their worst flaws have their way with them. They provide the sins of mankind with a vessel to release their euphoria. Their soulless and cold ecstasy keeps vice in the minds of men and dark shadows in their souls.

Vice and instances of our moral failings are to be expected from imperfect creatures. But virtue and acts of moral goodness are the chief aim of analyzing of one’s conduct and character. To criticize one’s conduct without the guidance of The Good, is to spite Virtue itself by critiquing its opposite without appealing to the source of all goodness.

The temptation of vice pulls everyone in from time to time, but not everyone strives against it. Not everyone reaches for greatness. Not everyone cares to be better than their worst qualities.

While it’s tempting to focus on flaws and vices, we should instead focus on how we attain virtue. For this is the only path to keep the ultimate aim of the good life in our sights.

I want to raise my glass to celebrate the virtues of humankind, not critique their moral failings. For what a dull life it would be to overlook the light and see only darkness. Sure, this darkness ought to be recognized, but only as the shadow of the ultimate light.

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Matthew McKenna

Matthew McKenna

When facing hardship and burned by flame / We look to myth for where to aim / As stories of old were understood / Extract the gold and make it good.