Thursday, September 8, 2011

Virtues and Values

Virtues are qualities within a person that can grow and produce good behaviors. When you grow in generosity it shows in your increased giving to others. Values are things to which we give high worth that is relative and changeable.  When you were young, you valued your bike and now you value your car, and perhaps the freedom connected to both.  When I was young my neighborhood valued church picnics and now my neighborhood values privacy, perhaps a reflection of diminishing unity.

I prioritize growing in virtue over giving value.  Our Catholic faith helps us by defining virtues, teaching priorities, and showing them impervious to personal and cultural mood swings.  The highest virtues are faith, hope, and charity as love, called the Theological Virtues.  Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude are Cardinal Virtues.  The Seven Heavenly Virtues are humility, generosity, chastity, meekness, temperance, brotherly love, and diligence.
The mass media "Pass It On" spots from currently highlights 83 "values" to include: appreciation, believe, caring, character, common ground, compassion, compliments, courtesy, do your part, encouragement, friendship, generosity, good manners, gratitude, hard work, helping others, honesty, hope, including others, inspiration, integrity, live life, live your dreams, love, making a difference, opportunity, optimism, patience, reaching out, right choices, sharing, sportsmanship, spread your wings, teaching by example, true beauty.  While each has worth, the swelling list and blurring of virtues and values doesn't help anyone to prioritize and live out what is most important.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13