Saturday Nov 25, 2006

Brushing up on our Virtues & Vices.. Just in TIME for the Holidays :)


 The Virtuous Virtuosity of Vices and Virtues in a Virtual World

Just as characterized in many references, Virtues have been defined since Greek times (virtus) .. as character traits defined as being "good".. used together as a guage for determining the overall moral excellence of a person (see Wikipedia : Virtue).

Steer Clear of those Seven Deadly Sins... a refresher they probably didn't teach you in school.

Unfortunately, in this increasingly virtual world that we live in today (lacking strong moral judgement.. and the ever decreasing visibility of virtues.. the death of chivalry, and the erosion of traditional/cultural values, etc..), more of us would be familiar with the inverse of a virtue .. as defined by a "vice" .. of which there are seemingly an endless supply, most notably of them.. the seven deadly sins (which you might recall best from the Brad Pitt movie.. Seven).

Although fashioned from early paegan mythology (ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian,..), the common themes of  mythology and all later "theologies" depicting good and evil spirits and gods / deamons... that judged acceptable behavior, boundaries, and beliefs... are still with most cultures even today.    Local beliefs, customs, and rituals of the past have become melded to evolve into today's accepted religious teachings with the help of creative writers along the way.. and let's not forget.. Hollywood (the Omen, Exorcist, etc.. seem to reinforce the vivid nature of these primitive origins).   Remember that before the Roswell incident was in the news, there were honestly no UFO sightings, nor abduction stories (suggestion and "fear of the unknown" take on a life of their own in the human cultural psyche once the seeds are planted, ..especially in the abscence of educated explanation).

As strange as it may sound, the one person that truely fashioned and vividly defined /created the persona of the Devil and the workings of Hell (as it is portrayed in today's pop-culture and even beyond Catholic circles)... is Dante ,with his Divine Comedy (1300 AD)... [how purgatory (the purgatorio) as well as Heaven/Paradise works....and it's refelction of the vice/virtue retribution cycle .. and how we are judged for our sins...  Good = God,  Evil = Devil ...].

Ranked in order of severity as per Dante's Divine Comedy (in the Purgatorio), the seven deadly sins (Capital Vices) are:

  1. Pride or Vanity — an excessive love of self (holding self out of proper position toward God or fellows; Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, pride is referred to as superbia. \*\*\*I disagree in that WE ALL NEED TO BE PROUD and LOVE OURSELVES... though excessive Vanity.. turned hatred & contempt of others is vile.\*\*\*
  2. Avarice (covetousness, Greed) — a desire to possess more than one has need or use for (or, according to Dante, "excessive love of money and power"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, avarice is referred to as avaritia.
  3. Lust — excessive sexual desire. Dante's criterion was "lust detracts from true love". In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is referred to as luxuria. \*\*\*\* OK .. Hmmmmm.. \*\*\*\* :) LOL
  4. Wrath or Anger — feelings of hatred, revenge or even denial, as well as punitive desires outside of justice (Dante's description was "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath is referred to as ira.
  5. Gluttony — overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants, or misplaced desire of food as a pleasure for its sensuality ("excessive love of pleasure" was Dante's rendering). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony is referred to as gula. \*\*\*\* OK.. WITH THE HOLIDAYS UNDERWAY.. MAYBE WATER THIS ONE DOWN A TOUCH :) \*\*\*\*
  6. Envy or jealousy; resentment of others for their possessions (Dante: "Love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is referred to as invidia.
  7. Sloth or Laziness; idleness and wastefulness of time allotted. Laziness is condemned because others have to work harder and useful work can not get done. (also accidie, acedia)

Our own little H\*LL ...

In light of the bombardment that most of see on any given day in this competitive, fast-paced real world.. of negative energy, jealousy, envy, hatred, pessimism, degradation of others through slander or defamation of character, etc.. etc.. (a WASTE of time and energy.. by any other name), I am devoting this blog to a refresher on those long lost character attributes. Those virtues, that .. if present, would enhance the quality of ALL our lives.. extending our personal Value systems so that they might be more tolerant or compatible with that of the community or society as a whole.

Just as Shakespeare simply stated in his play Othello :
"O! beware... of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on."

Virtues, Virtues, ... for Everyone ..

The following list of Virtues, comes from :
(the link for each virtue below will bring you to a few quotes if you feel like exploring)

Acceptance: To consider circumstances, especially those that can not be changed, as satisfactory.
Bravery: A quality of spirit that enables you to face danger of pain without showing fear.
Caution: Avoidance of rashness, attention to safety.
Curiosity: A desire to find out and know things.
Defiance: Bold resistance.
Determination: Firmness of purpose.
Devotion: A great love or loyalty, enthusiastic zeal.
Discretion: Being discrete in ones speech, keeping secrets.
Flexibility: Adaptable, able to be changed to suit circumstances.
Focus: Concentrated awareness and effort.
Forgiveness: To cease to feel angry or bitter towards a person or about an offense.
Generosity: Giving or ready to give freely, free from meanness or prejudice.
Gentleness: Moderate; mild, quite; not rough or severe.
Gratitude: Being thankful.
Honesty: Truthful; sincere; not lieing or cheating.
Humbleness: Modest; not arrogant or boastful.
Humor: The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.
Impartiality: Fair.
Industry: Diligent, hardworking.
Innocence: Guileless, not guilty.
Justice: Fair, impartial, giving a deserved response.
Kindness: Friendly, helpful, well meaning.
Love: A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
Loyalty: Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
Majesty: Great and impressive dignity.
Moderation: The avoidance of extremes in one’s actions or opinions.
Obedience: Willingness to obey, to be controlled when necessary, to carry out orders.
Openness: Ready and willing to talk candidly.Unsecretive.
Patience: The ability to endure delay, trouble, pain or hardship.
Peace: Freedom from mental agitation; serenity.
Prudence: Wise or careful in conduct. Shrewd or thrifty in planning ahead.
Reliability: Can be trusted to do something.
Responsibility: Having control over and accountability for appropriate events.
Sensitivity: Heightened awareness of oneself and others within the context of social and personal relationships.
Simplicity: Straightforward; not complex or complicated. Unpretentious.
Sincerity: Free from pretense or deceit in manner or actions.
Sobriety: Serious, solemn and calm. Free from intoxication.
Spontaneity: Natural, not planned.
Steadfastness: Firm, resolute; determinedly unwavering.
Strength: Capable of exerting great force.
Toughness: Strong and durable; not easily damaged.
Tranquility: Serenely quite and peaceful; undisturbed.
Trust: Having confidence in others; lacking suspicion.
Trustworthiness: Able to be trusted or depended on; reliable.

I have a Dream... that one day... we will all be a bit more Virtuous and Loving

Although I'm certain that most of us will be mixing in a vice or 2 during the holidays.. there are more than enough virtues listed here to hopefully counterbalance our vices.. kind of like how Pasta and Anti-Pasta can cancel out one another.. right ? lol :) Either way, this should be fuel enough to account for at least one virtue to be considered per day (or maybe just 1 in total ?? lol).. before the new year's resolutions are due.

Let's end this year on many positive notes.. "contributing" in a constructive manner to ourselves and the world around us.. vs. the antithesis.... destructive pessimism.. and mud slinging. We each have the power to enhance or degrade our lives and the world around us through the decisions we make.. and actions that we take..."within" each and every one of us.. and externally.. within our individual circles of influence. Let's try to foster more happiness.. in the hope that somewhere.. we might be able to grow that happiness into that ultimate fruit.. LOVE.. of ourselves, and those other special people in our lives.

Unleash that virtuous virtuoso within !!

Cheers.. and hopefully.. many "Happy" Holidays to come...

Todd :)
( Copyright 2006,2007 Todd A. Jobson )

I leave you with "The Right and Noble Code Of Chivalry" :

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This blog does not reflect the viewpoint or opinions of Oracle. All comments are personal reflections and responsibility of Todd A. Jobson, Sr. and are implicitly copyrighted from the posted year to current year, to that effect.


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