What Are Virtues?

Virtues, by definition, are the moral excellence of a person. A morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as good. He or she is honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind, for example. Because of these virtues or positive character traits, he or she is committed to doing the right thing no matter what the personal cost, and does not bend to impulses, urges or desires, but acts according to values and principles. Some might say that good qualities are innate and developed through good parenting, which they are, but we’re not perfect. Virtues need to be cultivated to become more prevalent or habitual in daily life. With the habit of being more virtuous, we take the helm of our own life, redirecting its course towards greater fulfillment, peace and joy.






You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken... Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?

We cannot... Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts...

Then will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything; and beauty, the effluence of fair works, shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giving breeze from a purer region, and insensibly draw the soul from the earliest years into likeness and sympathy with the beauty of reason.

There can be no nobler training than that.

-- PLATO"s Republic

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