A Review of Virtues
There are traits that we generally admire and strive for. Here is a short reminder of what some of these virtues are:
Respect means "showing regard for the worth of someone or something" (Lickona, 1991). We should be respectful of ourselves, of other humans, and for all life and the world around us.
Responsibility is related to respect. Because we respect ourselves, others, and our world, we are called to care for and preserve them. In other words, we are responsible for them.
Honesty means being truthful and not deceitful in our words, actions, and dealings with other people.
Self-Knowledge requires that we know who we are and evaluate our character and behavior critically. We should seek to know our strengths, our weaknesses, our talents, and the areas of our own life that need improvement. By being honest with ourselves about who we are, we are better equipped to grow as people and learn to overcome our weaknesses.
Empathy is our ability to relate to others' experiences and feelings. It is putting ourselves in their shoes and seeing things from another perspective. This virtue can help us see past our differences and remember that we are all humans.
Integrity requires that we are truthful to ourselves and that we stick to our beliefs, even when it might be difficult to do so.
Loyalty is being faithful and committed to the people, groups, or ideas that we hold dear. It sometimes requires us to stand up for what we believe in or to stick by a friend when others have not.
Please remember that this is not an exhaustive list. There are so many more virtues that we can and should cultivate such as courage, perseverance, prudence, self-discipline, humility and tolerance.
Lickona, Thomas. (1991). Educating for Character. New York: Bantam Books.
Lickona, Thomas. (2003). The Content of Our Character: Ten Essential Virtues. The Fourth and Fifth Rs: Respect and Responsibility, 10 (1), 1-3. Retrieved from http://www.cortland.edu/character/newsletters/2003-Fall-blue1.pdf
These definitions were created using the above resources as well as by consulting the Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary which can be found at: http://merriam-webster.com