The Seven Deadly Virtues

Most people are familiar with the seven deadly sins. These sins consist of wrath, sloth, pride, gluttony, lust, greed, and envy. It is also common knowledge that these sins are vices that are excessive versions of our natural passions. Which like anything in life in excess can be tremendously destructive and should be avoided. Next, we have the lesser known seven heavenly virtues which consist of prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, and charity. These virtues stem from a belief that moderation is the root of all good. Although these virtues are all Christian in origin they do have their own merit and transcend all religions, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation.

Today we are here to discuss what I call the seven deadly virtues. In these times, they have swept through our culture like a wave of locusts, causing many to fall victim to monsters of their own creation. The seven deadly virtues are acceptance, beauty, cooperation, dignity, tact, humility, and love. These virtues if successfully implemented can aid any individual in living a fruitful life. Unfortunately, these virtues are often used in excess and as a result cause many to suck on the tit that is a miserable life.

Acceptance: This virtue is defined as the act of accepting something or someone. Traditionally when one accepts a person for who they are they allow this person to move unhindered within their universe. That person feels a sense of warmth and compassion but above all they are given carte blanche to act how they want while in your presence, this is not without its pitfalls. If someone has a negative frame of mind and says negative things you are strongly inclined to accept it, for that is just the way they are. An example of this is a close friend who is miserable and tends to spread their misery around like wildfire. There is a huge difference between venting in the pursuit of improving a situation and complaining without true purpose. We all have had/have that friend who complains about the same things day in and day out but has no intention of improving their situation.

The latter type of negativity can eventually seep into your world, consciousness, universe whichever term you wish to use. Before you know it, you will begin to see an increase in negative thoughts, which often leads to chaos in your own world. The counter to this type of situation is rejection. I implore you to reject the negativity that comes your way from that type of friend, but not the friend. Simply telling your friend that you don’t want to hear the complaining without purpose is a surefire way to achieve this. Will your friend comply immediately, perhaps not. Because this is something that is hardwired in their consciousness. However, it is important that you stand your ground for the sake of your own sanity.

Beauty: This virtue is defined as the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind. According to this definition beauty can be found in everything found in this world, for beauty is relative. The problem arises when beauty is taken to an extreme level where one becomes enamored with the material world. This can take many forms however it is commonly found in today’s obsession with social media and appearing more successful than one’s peers. It is a well-known fact that the generation of the future generation Y aka the millennials are heavily reliant on the validation of their peers. Whether that validation comes in the beauty found in their physical appearance or the beauty found in their physical possessions. This becomes a problem when the spirit of that person is neglected and begins to wane, for it is the beautiful spirit that can undergo hardships.

A connection can be made between the reliance on beauty to prop one’s self esteem and the increase in depression, anxiety, and insecurity issues that are prominent among Generation Y. These issues have resulted in an increase in doctor’s visits and a heavy reliance on prescribed medication, which come with their own negative side effects. The counter to this virtue is ugliness. Ugliness of the soul where one truly acknowledges their shadow self or dark self and accepts that this dark entity is a part of themselves. Just because one has dark thoughts does not make them a dark person, it is their actions and their motivations for said actions that embodies a virtuous person.

Co-operation: This virtue is defined as a situation in which people work together to accomplish something. When carried out effectively this virtue allows a group of people to work as a unit and experience the glorious feeling of Esprit de corps which is a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by members of a group. Like the other virtues if carried out in excess it can become a destructive quality that negatively impacts one’s livelihood.

When one becomes too enthralled into the group dynamic they fall prey to the groups mentality and can lose their own identity in the process. Without an identity, one begins to identify solely with the group and view any obstacle to the groups intentions as a personal attack. An example of this is a religious fanatic who is willing to go to battle at the slightest provocation against their chosen belief system. Additionally, it is easy to get pulled into a series of negative actions as dictated by the group due to the added pressure of said group. An example of this would be the management of a large corporation stealing wages from their employees to meet their production requirements. The counter to this is defiance. It is important to question whether or not an action is in one’s best interest before the groups and to hold oneself to the highest of esteem.

Dignity: This virtue can be defined as a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control. Dignity is a tricky virtue to overcome for we all wish to be viewed as a dignified human being. Someone to which can be taken seriously and is to be respected. The issue arises when this desire to be taken seriously transcends normal customs and one becomes overbearing in their endeavors. A prime example of this is an overbearing boss who threatens to dismiss his employees at the slightest infraction.

This stems from an underlying desire to be taken seriously for a change, as it is not uncommon that such a person has gone through periods in their life where they were viewed as weak. They combat their fears by putting up the façade of someone who is not to be trifled with. Another example is someone who has newly acquired power and begins to abuse it immediately. Turning former friends into foe in an instant, effectively isolating themselves. If one is caught acting in a manner that shows excessive dignity the counter is a challenging one. To effectively counter this virtue, one must be willing to appear foolish. Allowing yourself to admit you are wrong when the time arises can be a liberating feeling, for we all have our flaws.  Taking yourself too seriously often adds stress and anxiety at the need to appear perfect. Additionally, admitting your flaws to yourself can be an effective means of ridding yourself of this deadly virtue.

Tact: This virtue is defined a keen sense of what to do or say to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. Tact is something that is required to maintain friendships, relationships, and navigate the workplace. It is a virtue that should be cherished when administered in the right doses. Unfortunately, this virtue can easily turn deadly when one transforms into a tactician. When one becomes naturally tactful it becomes very easy for them to maneuver their friends, family, loved ones, and co-workers to a specific outcome. This can often cause said people to become resentful and even seek retribution. An example of this is when one partner uses tears and a few choice words to get their partner to comply with all their wishes.

Tact can further be consequential when one forgoes their own wishes to maintain good relations with their peers. Repeatedly this tactful person will give up their own desires and bite their tongue to submit to the will of someone else for fear of consequence. This often results in them harboring resentment for their needs are almost never met. The unfortunate part is that this situation is often of their own unconscious design. The counter to this virtue is being willful. It is important that one sets boundaries for themselves and those around them for without these boundaries they become a carpet that can be walked upon at will.

Humility: This virtue is defined as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. Some would argue that this isn’t a virtue at all for most equate the state of being humble is to always be weak. I argue against this assumption, for many reasons. The primary reason is that humbleness does not mean one does not value themselves. It means that they do not value themselves above anyone else. They believe that all humans are created equal and that everyone has positive qualities that separate themselves from the pack. Because of this individuality it is argued that we are all equally amazing.

This virtue becomes noxious when one traverses down the rabbit hole and becomes weak, whereas they fail to see their own individual traits and loses sight of how highly they should value themselves. An example of this is an expert dancer allowing a mediocre one to be the lead dancer in a performance. This allowance comes from the belief that they both have equal dance skills, not from the belief that they are both equal human beings. As you can see there is a fine line between humility and weakness but the distinction is there. The counter to this virtue is having a healthy sense of pride in one’s abilities. As mentioned before we all have special traits that separate us from each other and we are to take stock of said traits and embrace them.

Love: This virtue is defined as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. Who doesn’t want love? Even the people who claim they are done with love still wish to have it, for it is easily the most wondrous feeling one can experience. The sense of floating along a river as the wind caresses your body and the scent of lavender fills your lungs. As with all the deadly virtues love has its own ugly side. When one provides unconditional love for a person they are essentially giving their mind, body, and soul to another entity that they have no control over. This is ludicrous for the term unconditional is a massive commitment. An example of this is a spouse sleeping with several women and getting all of them pregnant, then their partner still takes them back for they have granted them unconditional love.

When one commits to giving unconditional love, they commit to putting another person above their own wellbeing. Essentially, they are giving that person their essence of being. Unconditional love is not something one should ever give to another entity, for in life everyone has their limitations and everything comes with conditions. The counter to this is a shift in frame of mind and one that will greatly benefit one’s livelihood. The ultimate counter is self-love, where one unconditionally loves themselves flaws and all.  When one truly loves themselves, they can fill the void in their heart that is often filled by a partner. I make here the argument that it is critical to any successful relationship that one understands, accepts, and loves themselves unconditionally to live a fruitful, happy, and progressive life.

Conclusion: Very few people today can honestly say they are not guilty of one of these cardinal virtues. But it is a rare person who would consciously stay in a situation that will only bring upon them pain and torment. One of the many keys to creating your own paradise is acknowledging the points where one has room to grow, then taking the necessary actions to see that growth through.

 

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