Saturday, May 10, 2008

the virtues project.

This is my fourth post in less than 24 hours, but my mom is out and Balazs took Csilla to the store, so I have the house to myself. It's quiet and my thoughts are flowing. Plus it's raining, so I'm taking full advantage of this time inside to really dive into some weighty stuff in the hopes of understanding myself better. How exciting.

All of your comments on my last few posts have got me so inspired! It's truly energizing and exciting to hear all of your thoughtful words of wisdom and kindness. I've been working on a post for Mother's Day and while I was writing it, I remembered a web site I had stumbled upon about a year ago and wanted to share it with all of you. It's called the The Virtues Project and it think it's just amazing. Have a visit and you'll see what I mean.

I love the idea of cultivating virtues in ourselves and others. When describing The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project here, this sentence really jumped out at me:

"By being deeply present and listening with compassion and detachment, we help others 'to empty their cup'."

The way in which your recent words of support and compassion in my comments have uplifted me is a perfect example of this. Thank you for allowing me to "Empty My Cup". If you have time, visit this page, which lists 52 virtues that ideally all individuals would posses. It's like a checklist for being and doing better in our lives.

A quote I found on the web site by Lao Tsu sums it up the importance of virtues perfectly:

"Cultivate Virtue in yourself, and Virtue will be real.
Cultivate Virtue in the family, and Virtue will flourish.
Cultivate Virtue in the village, and Virtue will be abundant.
Cultivate Virtue in the world, and Virtue will triumph everywhere."

That Lao Tsu was one smart dude, don't you think?

Another important and interesting distinction I found on The Virtues Project site was this explanation of Virtues vs. Values:

"Virtues are simpler than values. Virtues are the qualities of our character. Values are whatever we consider important. We can value anything from money and power to the Golden Rule. Values are culture-specific, while virtues such as courage, honor, justice, and love are the common elements of character and spirituality universally valued by all cultures. We may practice them differently from one culture to another but we all value them."

Interestingly, the more I search around The Virtues Project site, the more interested I become. I just discovered that their curriculum is used by The British Columbia Teacher's Federation, The Faculty of Education at UBC and the Vancouver School Board. All local stuff for me. I love it.

Anyway, I should really get back to the business of writing my Mother's Day post, but I really wanted to say thank you and share something wonderful with you all.


1 comment:

Kaycie said...

This is lovely. It reminds me of a program used at my children's elementary school in our old hometown. I think it was called "Character Counts". There were fewer virtues, which were called pillars, but the idea is the same. It's used in the school system there to teach children how to treat others, how to behave themselves, and to communicate what is expected of them. I liked the program and thought it taught the kids well by keeping high standards in their minds.

Thanks for sharing this, Carolyn.