Twenty-second part of the A-Z series. V is for Virtues.
It seems that in today’s society many people know about the 7 Deadly Sins Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Lust. Though very few know there are also 7 Holy Virtues. Whether or not a person is particularly religious or not it is wise to contemplate how these became the sins and virtues. Living with the virtues often creates results for a more peaceful and happy life.
Faith is the believing in a power higher than yourself. As opposed to pride which is self-centered giving a false sense of power, Faith is connecting to a power that is encompassing and bigger and therefore with it comes a sense of Humility.
Hope is the expectation of greater things for yourself. This is the opposite of Envy which focuses on scarcity, therefore the idea that you must take from others in order to have your needs met. A person with Hope realizes that there is enough and that there is a perfect situation waiting for them. They need not take from others to have their needs met.
Charity the opposite of Greed. Where Greed is about taking all that is yours and then taking from others that are weaker and with less power just because you can. This creates an imbalance where those who are weaker are either forced to steal for survival or they grow weak and in certain cases can die of sickness and hunger.
Charity on the other hand is an action of gratitude. By recognizing the blessings of having enough one gives to those needing help. Therefore making a more harmonious community and in so doing creating a vacuum by which even more blessings and prosperity may come into the generous person’s life.
The famous saying “Always be good to those on the way up.Because inevitably you will only be able to stay on top for a limited amount of time and you will meet the same folks on your way down.” This pertains to both humility and charity.
Prudence is the opposite of Lust. Rather than having complete unbridled desire, Prudence states that it is better to be cautious and to make cool-headed decisions. Where as Lust is an all or nothing proposition of the body, Prudence offers the good judgement of the mind.
Temperance is the ability to have self-discipline and self-control. The antithesis of Gluttony, Temperance is about being thoughtful and mindful of that which is put into one’s body. Treating the body as a temple. Where as Gluttony is more like treating one’s body more like an amusement park, as the old joke goes.
Fortitude is the antidote to Sloth. Fortitude is an inner strength and courage to keep at it and move forward. If I had to pick a favorite virtue for me Fortitude would be mine. It’s about having the guts to keep going even when the chips are down. It’s that something way down deep inside a person’s spirit that motivates them to get back up one more time no matter how many times they have been knocked down by life. Fortitude is very powerful.
Wrath is the act of rage. A shoot first, ask questions later, way of dealing with situations. This often ends in regret and ruined lives. The virtue of Justice shows the ability to be fair and reasonable especially when it comes to making decisions. Where as wrath is about harsh punishment and pain. Justice is about bringing harmony back to a situation with the use of reason and fair handed measures.
As a person overcomes the urges of the 7 sins and replaces them with the better results that come from the virtues they are able to have a much more productive and empowering life experience.