Weekly Virtue: Recap Chastity, Prepare for Humility

The virtue this week was chastity.

Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness.

The easiest virtue yet.

Next week is humility.

Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

I don’t recall Socrates being particularly humble. He told people to be humble, like he was. Jesus suggested that people be humble, but didn’t set himself up as an example.

This one requires balance. It’s good to be proud of our accomplishments and skills, and our plans. It’s also good to be proud of others, both those close to us and those at a distance. Putting yourself down in private is unbalancing. Putting yourself down in public makes others uncomfortable, or can be a form of bragging.

My plan is to continue to be quietly proud of myself and my family, but also to be aware of others’ pride. Give them recognition and encouragement, and give them time and space to feel proud, and be happy for them.

This is the last of Ben’s list. Any recommendations for the next list? If there are non, I’ll either start Ben’s over again, or try the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

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2 Responses

  1. Humility doesn’t require thinking less of yourself, but rather, thinking of yourself less. The idea is to know yourself, know what you can attribute to yourself, and know how much you can attribute to others.

    For example, you’re smart and well-organized. Those are natural talents you have, and it would be wrong to say, “No, I’m stupid and disorganized.” But on the other hand, you’ve also received the immeasurable blessing of being born in a time and place where you were properly educated and where you have access to books about organization (to help you view a range of organizational techniques) and so on.

    The natural outgrowth of humility is generosity. It’s almost automatic that once you realize how much you’ve been given (in the above example, the opportunity for an education) that you realize how that same gift could bless others, and then you begin reaching out in order to help others achieve the same (by, say, storytelling in order to give others the urge to read more.)

  2. I like that explanation — it’s part of what I was aiming for, but said better.

    Just remembered one of my favourite poems, If, by Rudyard Kipling. http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_if.htm

    It begins with:
    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;

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