Respect As A Virtue

I guess we better understand the definition of virtue – morally good behavior or character. Now that sure seems to have varied over the centuries. And respect – due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. That sounds straightforward.

The highest virtue, according to Aristotle was intellectual contemplation. I know Ernest Holmes must have liked that one. In addition, there are 12 additional virtues that can also be attributed to Aristotle and they are as follows:  

  • 1) Courage – bravery and valor
  • 2) Temperance – self-control and restraint
  • 3) Liberality – bigheartness, charity and generosity 
  • 4) Magnificence – radiance, joie de vivre
  • 5) Pride – self-satisfaction
  • 6) Honor – respect, reverence, admiration 
  • 7) Good Temper – equanimity, level headedness
  • 8) Friendliness – conviviality and sociability
  • 9) Truthfulness – straightforwardness, frankness and candor
  • 10) Wit – sense of humor – meaninglessness and absurdity 
  • 11) Friendship – camaraderie and companionship
  • 12) Justice – impartiality, evenhandedness and fairness

So with all these virtues, How did you do? Score six of twelve? Score twelve of Twelve? I am sure we will all rate our virtuousness at different levels on differently.

It is very interesting to think of respect as a virtue because different people will call different things virtuous. Respect may be found to have quite different definitions in different cultures. 

Aristotle calls Respect a virtue.

I wonder how God might look at it. As we look in one of the other guidebooks it says God loves all alike and causes his rain to fall and his son to shine alike upon all. Upon all is very inclusive. No exceptions upon ALL Divine love also encompasses everything.

Now notice that Divine love encompasses everything, not most things, not just the things I like, but everything. 

Know this. Virtue does not know that it is virtuous, and couldn’t know, because it would immediately become vicious. Virtue is sweet as the morning dew, softest evening star, and brilliant as the noonday Sun. Could the dew tell why it is sweet, the star say why it’s light is soft, or the sun say why it shines? When we learn to put away our petty virtues, with our petty vices, then we shall see clearly, not what either virtue or vice is, but what truth is!

The mind which condemns, understands not the truth of being and the heart which would shut the door of its bosom one who is mistaken, strangles its own life, closing its eyes to a greater vision. The biggest life is the one which includes the most.

Not that we Foster Vice or place a premium upon wrongdoing, but that we understand the frailties of human nature and learn to overlook much. To him who loves much much is Forgiven.

And So It Is

Center for Spiritual Living in Templeton - Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

Presented on August 18th, 2019 at
Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living
Templeton, California