Living into Your Virtues.

November 17, 2020

Living into Your Virtues.

May 29, 2023

“When you are younger, you get blamed for crimes you never committed, and, when you’re older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.” I.F. Stone

David Brooks’ epic Op-Ed entitled “The Moral Bucket List” starts with this exquisite paragraph:

About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.

He goes on to talk about the difference between our résumé and our eulogy virtues: “The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral—whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

Read the article a few times and then ask yourself if it’s time for you to create a bucket list of character qualities that you want to define you. You don’t have to come up with an exhaustive list. Settle on three or four. Take Brook’s advice and remind yourself that “this is a philosophy for stumblers.” A virtuous life doesn’t mean you’re perfect (no such human exists); it means you are an individual who is wise and brave enough to shift their attention from external ambition into an internal yearning for good.

What good will define your life? And what steps can you start taking today that will move you and your moral compass in that direction?

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