The Four Virtues
November 14, 2021
When I was a young parent, I often wondered, what must I teach my children? What can I share with them as a set of personal ethics and values that will prepare them to deal with the real world efficiently, that would help them build resilience and thrive at work and beyond?.
I found Stoic philosophy helped me with a very nice framework to address these questions.
“Be wise and self-controlled, and share in courage and justice … the art by which a human would become good. We must do just that!”Musonius Rufus
“If at some point in your life, you should come across anything better than justice, truth, self-control, courage — it must be an extraordinary thing indeed.”Marcus Aurelius
There are four virtues that almost all Stoic philosophers shine the light on. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Courage. These four virtues contain all that is necessary for a good life at any time or place in history.
Wisdom: Having the good sense to know what is right and wrong. This helps us learn from experiences and exercise good judgment when dealing with people, situations.
Justice: Doing what is right always. This helps us sleep peacefully at night.
Courage: Having the fortitude to deal with challenges and issues. This helps us pursue our goals.
Temperance: Being moderate and disciplined about everything. This helps us have balance in life.
These four virtues are the keys to the good life. I have tried to instill in my children these virtues, not by telling them but through my actions. I have tried to be the person I want my children to be.