Being Human pt. 3 (Virtues)

The main aspects that I have discovered I needed to pursue to achieve the best balance in my own reality are these: Truth, Patience, Love, Logic, curiosity, perseverance and forgiveness.

With so many things to think, and so many ways to do it, these, to me, are the clearest path to my desired goals. I wanted to know serenity within myself, to acquire knowledge that is external to myself, and the mental means to process it, as well as accept it (or reject it).

All in all, these aren’t bad methodologies as human beings go. There are others that I could desire and they are just as important as well. I’ll discuss them later. Yes, I will be raising you with these attributes in mind, since many more flow from these and are intertwined in the tree that is your brain.

Even though I can’t give you all the answers, no one else can do that either. You will pick what your opponents are, as well as your friends and allies. Because of my personal philosophy, you will be able to see which opponents I have chosen, and why. As you will notice early on, others pick their ‘opponents’ for a host of reasons, which, to me, are not always very good. They carve up their niche in the world according to how they were raised as well as the influence of their immediate environment and the limits placed on their knowledge, just like you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t oppose them. It just means you should know why you do.

Life is not solely based on friends and opponents, but at a certain level, you have choices to make which affect everything around you. Opponents, opportunities, as well as allies and friends, are the end result of the personal philosophy you have chosen for yourself. If you have an opinion, one way or the other, there will always be someone who thinks differently than you do. That’s okay, though. That doesn’t mean you have to make an enemy out of anyone who disagrees with you. It just means that to a certain degree, you have a particular view about a subject, and that you are willing to defend it.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t change your opinion, either. That opponent you have might convince you otherwise, since their argument might be more logical and hold more ‘truth’ stemming from facts, or empathy, than yours.

Opposition does not mean non-acceptance, it can be the precursor to acceptance. In any event, by building your personal store of information, you will be able to judge more readily whether your position is warranted or not.

Opposition does not mean to fear or hate, either. The choices I make, when based solely on my opinion, hate, and unreliable sources, are completely subjective and limited to a dependence on my closed world-view. The wider my knowledge of provable facts are, the easier it is to comprehend the mechanics of everything, and with that the meaning of ‘Truth’. When I place myself in opposition to something, it is because I believe I have a deeper understanding of the mechanics that underlie the system to which I am confronted. Much of the time, it is against myself that I am opposed.

Since I want to push myself further, it is by forcing my mind to open to other possibilities that the opposition takes place. I already know who will win, of course, but in which way I do so depends on if I was able to stick to my ‘virtues’ or not.

All virtues you choose to pursue have something in common: they concentrate your view on the long term. Vices are, for want of a better term, the feeding of instant gratification, and nothing more. When you look down the road a bit, you mentally picture the things you want for yourself and others, and it is through virtues that you have a better ratio of success with.

When you take the macro view, societies based around core virtues have the advantage over those who are not. It is nigh impossible to create a complex society based on lies, for example, since to create social contracts, truth, and its derivative, confidence, must hold sway. As well, when justice and equality are held high in the societal sphere, there is less chance of poverty, abuse of power and violence. All that starts with the individual.

It is my belief that as much as these core values are important in individuals, they are so in all human systems. The more forward-thinking virtues are instilled into individuals and systems, the better the society is for it. It is a balance, of course, between the desires of the individual and the needs of society. To let the balance tip toward vices within systems and a majority of individuals creates an imbalanced society. If most people begin to think only of themselves within the system, for example, you might end up with rampant corruption, which erodes both the confidence of those outside the system yet dependent on it, and the theft of monies and property with no recourse. That is a sign of a declining societal system, and a precursor to collapse.

You will be tempted to allow your animal nature take over, and think only of yourself. It is up to you to decide whether you want to be virtuous or not. Whether to work hard, or steal. Whether to be generous, or avaricious. You might grow into your virtues. Keep in mind that if you want to build a better environment for yourself, you need to be the example to follow.

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