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How to Experience Virtue and Not Let it Get to Your Head

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #26

Virtue is its own reward

 

How important is it to have virtue in our lives?  The definition of virtue states ” Behavior showing high moral standards” and when we think of the word virtue words such as ethics, excellence, and kindness might come to mind.  These things are all important when dealing with each other and if we didn’t do these types of behaviors, our world would suffer.

Virtue can lead to happiness but can we experience too much virtue and let it get to our heads.  Can too much virtue in our lives leave us with a sense of pride?  Pride is okay to have, but it can also be a vice in life.  I decided to take a look at three key aspects of my life that I hold to the highest value that would bring virtue into my life.  When deciding to take a look at these three things that I think I have experienced virtue I wanted to see how those feelings of virtue affected me and if I feel at times I could have been too prideful. I can honestly answer yes I experienced a certain degree of virtue with each of these and I also have experienced being over prideful as well.  Here are my three most significant things in my life where I have felt the most virtuous.

My Family 

I always strived to have the family I never had a child.  I had a family that was broken most of my life.  Growing up I decided that I would work hard to make my family unit strong and that is something that I strive for today.  I have an excellent, loving, and supportive husband who works hard for us in all things.  He is my best friend, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.  I have two fantastic kids who are entering the teen scene of their lives and have given me more smiles than a headache.  That is not to say we haven’t had our trials because we have and we have always seemed to pick up the pieces and move forward.  I am thankful for this opportunity, and yes there have been times when I forget that this is life and life is not perfect.  Have I ever been too prideful when it comes to my family? I will be honest yes I have.  There have been times I have judged and have thought I might be able to do it better.  I will tell you that today I try and work very hard to not judge those around me. I feel like judgment can become a bad habit just and it takes time to break a habit once you have been doing it for a while. I am always telling myself to do better.

My Beliefs

This one was a hard one when I really got to thinking about it.  Way back in the day I used to be strongly religious.  I went to church every Sunday and was a huge participant in teaching and helping our congregation.  Unfortunately with this came the feeling of feeling overly special.  I am not saying at all that church is wrong because I believe it entirely can be the best thing for a person. When I first went, it was the best thing for me. It took my life and changed it for the better.  The problem was that when I was going and working so hard to be that perfect person I believe that my virtue was clouded with a bit of pride and entitlement. I don’t go to church anymore not because I don’t like it but because I wanted to focus on myself and my spirituality.  I had to teach myself to be more humble by concentrating on what I was doing for those around me and that I can do great things in life without having to boast or feel like I need something in return.

 My Self

Out of my siblings, I have been the one who got away.  I was able to live a decent life, and they have had some pretty real struggles.  One of the reasons I have made a path for myself is because I have chosen to not go down a road of addiction.  Addiction is definitely a family disease, and I am a firm believer that it is learned through the environment and can quickly be passed down even through generations.  I have worked hard to keep myself healthy and happy.  Somedays are harder than others, but I work hard to make sure that I can give myself and my loved ones the life they deserve. One of the ways I have been able to succeed is by holding myself to a certain standard.  I believe that virtue has helped me in achieving but in the past, I have not been the nicest to deal with when it comes to my siblings.  I wanted them to experience the same happiness I have, and I have pushed too hard in certain circumstances. I have learned through the years that we all have our battles and the best way to help is to love and support when you can, this will go further than thinking you know what is best for those that are fighting their own battle.

Virtue can bring happiness to our lives, but it can also become a vice if it is not understood. Being able to experience great things is a beautiful feeling to have but make sure we do so with a humble heart.  Remember that our actions can affect those around us and be aware of others helps us keep our pride in check.  The next time you experience virtue in your life be happy and thankful that you received it and see if you can spread a little to someone else along the way.

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