Virtues are good…flaws are bad. We know this much, but what not a lot of people think about is the drawbacks of having their virtues in less than ideal proportion. Virtues are most often pointed out in extremes acts, but everyone should remember that the groundwork for extreme acts of heroism and accomplishment are always prepared for with millions of small actions that make up a person’s moral fiber. So while being extremely intelligent, brave, tough, or fast are wonderful qualities, lets not forget the qualities that make them possible.
Decency: This virtue is degraded by its association with mediocrity. “It was decent,” isn’t exactly a rave review, and similarly being a decent human being also implies a lack of distinction. However it also implies a lacks of flaws, vices, and the presence of almost every virtue in a modest but significant amount. Decent people are never gifted, they just do the right thing, for the right reason, and don’t expect excessive recognition for their less than eccentric behavior.
A world of universally decent people, would be far superior to a world of talented ones…unfortunately it would be far more boring at first glance. Being uncompromising and volatile is good for reality TV, but that’s about all.
Consistency: Toughness is not an underrated virtue. It is probed for and proclaimed in practically every athletic or military storyline. Unfortunately no one really cares to analyze where it comes from. Toughness is a habit, and habits are a product of consistency. Consistency is also the root of reliability, which is the root of trust, which is the root of relationships.
Stoicism: It is good for people to be able to express their feelings, especially on online dating sites, but not at the expense of being obsessed with them. A huge part of maturity is knowing that no matter how important your feelings are to you, they don’t mean anything to anyone else or whatever situation your in. One reason this characteristic doesn’t get much playing time is because its invisible, and the other is that if people are enduring some sort of mental or physical discomfort, no one will know they are tough enough to do it if they don’t advertise it. But the bottom line is that “everybody has their dues in life to pay” (Dream On, Aerosmith), and there is no reason to inflict our dues on other people.
Curiosity: Intelligence, improvisation, and resourcefulness are all products of a previous fascination with how things work and how they can be improved. The assumption that one is already well informed is the groundwork for being dull, smug, and intellectually stagnant. A person who wants to know more, and while not clinging too tightly to the dogma dictated by what they already know, will never take their own opinions too seriously or the thoughts of their peers