We as individuals use them as guidance, when big decisions are to be made. They are much more than our intellectual decisions and they are nothing else but ‘Virtues’.

Virtues are the qualities that are considered to be good or desirable in a person. Virtues are the sign boards that compel a person to always do the right thing, no matter the cost. They have high moral values, for they are accepted by all irrespective of nationality, language, race and colour. In simple terms virtue is the habit of doing moral good and keeping ourselves away from evil. Virtues shape our character like a potter that shapes the pots while he is at his wheels. Some of the virtues are humility, charity, gratitude, temperance, love, patience, diligence, perseverance, courage, honour, trust, harmony, justice etc…

The virtues lead a person towards the pathway which is morally accepted by the society. It is also considered to be the strength of an individual. They differ from person to person. The virtues that we practice become the foundation for our character formation. In fact, certain people became models for our imitation through their virtuous life. In one of the inaugural addresses Barack Obama said “Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new but those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism, these things are old.” The sports star M.S. Dhoni, known for staying calm in bad situations, a team player, a front man - said “I would say, I feel equally frustrated, I also feel angry at times, disappointed. But what is important is that none of these feelings are constructive.” We are also familiar with another stalwart – Ratan Tata. He is known for his humility and there are other countless examples. He started out working as a blue-collar employee for Tata Steel. He personally visited the families of the about 80 employees who were affected because of the 26/11 attacks. He remembers almost everyone by their first names and is not dismissive. There are many examples of how attentive he is and he is well loved by all who know him.

All the above-mentioned virtues are present within us. Some in low magnitude and some in high magnitude. In fact, we are also nicknamed by the certain virtues that outshine in our life.

As I was thinking about how I can compare these virtues, I got an idea to compare it to a beautiful dress. Dress plays a significant role in everyone’s life. We wore different types of clothes for various occasions. The beauty and the value of the dress lies in the way it is stitched, material used and the many hands worked after it.

A dress depicts one’s own personality and it builds confidence. In the same manner I thought, let me wear the beautiful dress of virtues to lead a meaningful life.

Humility- the fabric .It is said humility is the mother of all virtues.

So, if I have this virtue other virtues will follow one after the other.

Love- that makes the cloth cottony soft.

Love makes even the stone hearted a good human being. It is love that helps us to sacrifice joyfully.

Gratitude -the linen thread to stitch the cloth.

Everything that I receive is a blessing. The linen thread does the major part. It turns a simple cloth piece into a beautiful dress. In the same manner gratitude makes a person to accept one’s own nothingness and dependency.

Patience - the beautiful pearls and the beads.

Patience builds relationships and these are the beautiful jewels that we earn in our lifetime.

Diligence- the embroidery work.

A dress is known for its strenuous art work of thread on it, which is carefully and persistently done. This virtue brings gentleness in our dealings with ourselves and with others.

Acceptance- the fine netted lace and the tulle fabric.

The fine knitted lace has its own place in a dress. These are very delicately done, one tear on it changes its entire beauty. In the same way, the acceptance helps to accept loss and gain; sorrow and happiness, for imbalance in accepting this incurs a great loss.

How blessed our lives would be if these virtues shine in our life?

But at this juncture I am reminded of an old story.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Yes! the one I feed.

Life is like a train journey. At every station, people get down and board the train. Those who were with us at the beginning of our journey may not be with us till its end. But these virtues will help to reach our destination. So let me wear it first.

Eulalia Maria Lobo
St Aloysius B.Ed. College


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