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    , , , , Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Virtue,   


    Education is not merely a means for earning a living or an instrument for the acquisition of wealth. It is an initiation into life of spirit, a training of the human soul in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.

    -Vijayalakshmi Pandit



     
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    , , , , , Virtue   


    Last Curtain by Rabindranath Tagore 

    I know that the day will come
    when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
    and life will take its leave in silence,
    drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

    Yet stars will watch at night,
    and morning rise as before,
    and hours heave like sea waves
    casting up pleasures and pains.

    When I think of this end of my moments,
    the barrier of the moments breaks
    and I see by the light of death
    thy world with its careless treasures.

    Rare is its lowliest seat,
    rare is its meanest of lives.
    Things that I longed for in vain
    and things that I got
    —let them pass.
    Let me but truly possess
    the things that I ever spurned
    and overlooked.

    The poem ‘Last Curtain’ explains the vulnerability one feels at the time of death. The actual treasures one can take to the grave are none but his deeds of good. The poem conveys the message that the things that matter the most at death, are those virtues that are considered as least important by many men during their lives.



     
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    , Leonardo Da Vinci, , Virtue   


    Who sows virtue reaps honor.

    -Da Vinci



     
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    , , , , Virtue   


    Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.

    -Lao Tzu



     
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    , , , , , , , Virtue   


    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

    Aristotle


     
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    Blaise Pascal, , , , Virtue   


    The virtue of a man ought to be measured not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his everyday conduct.

    Blaise Pascal


     
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    , N. T. Wright, , , Virtue   


    Tolerance is a cheap, low-grade parody of love. Tolerance is not a great virtue to aspire to. Love is much tougher and harder.

    N. T. Wright


     
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    Comfort, , , , Virtue   


    The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

    Confucius


     
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    , , Middle path, , Vice, Virtue   


    In medio stat virtus : Virtue stands in the middle 

    In medio stat virtus : Virtue stands in the middle.

    Virtue is in the moderate, not the extreme position. – Horace

    Voltaire said : The better is the enemy of the good.

    Variant translations:
    The perfect is the enemy of the good.
    The best is the enemy of the good.

    In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a balance point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait. The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other.

    For example:

    Generosity lies in between miserliness and extravagance.

    Courage lies in between cowardice and foolhardiness.

    Confidence lies in between self-deprecation and vanity.

    Virtue, by definition, is a characteristic that promotes individual and collective well being. A vice, on the other hand, does not promote well being. What is surprising to me is that a virtue stands between two vices.

    Now, this is something to think about. The present day paradigm is being the best. We all are told that we have to be the best at what we do. And we even strive for it.

    We give up things just to be the best in what we do. We encourage children to be first in class. In fact our lives are so competitive that we call it a rat race. We drive ourselves hard and get burnt out.

    No wonder this puts things out of perspective. We feel miserable when we cant be the best. We don’t forgive our own mistakes.

    Pushing to extreme cant be a balanced way of life, even if the extreme is perfection. Being the best may be good for business, but it may not be good for the spirit.



     
    • Patty Golden 181544 on 20130127 Permalink

      Thank you. Your lovely words arrived at just the right time.

    • Sara 171503 on 20160113 Permalink

      I searched my house for a sentimental paper (a dear friend had written the Latin down for me and I was unsure of the “virtu” vs. “virtus” spelling. thus the paper search). Unable to find it, I used my phone to do a phrase search. Your site was illuminating. Such a deeper feeding from reflecting on your teaching.

      And I ended up realizing that if I had found my original little slip of paper, I never would have encountered your site… And I would have not added any new reflections upon this very familiar (and treasured) phrase.

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