Virtue: the cornerstone of character

TGIW (Thank God It’s Wednesday)!

With the daily maelstrom (mailstorm!) of emails crowding your inbox, I pray this one is a welcome respite from the insanity. I actually love writing to friends of like mind and spirit; it makes owning an online entity refreshingly human. As promised, I have already started making random calls to at least one of you each week. At Wholetones, it’s always a priority to do everything I can to let you know just how important you are to me.

Recently, I had the pleasure of dining with my Mom and Dad at a well-known restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was truly moved when I noticed the owner of the restaurant bussing tables when the staff was “in the weeds.” It spoke volumes when this precious man jumped in and helped his employees out—what integrity! In today’s culture, a virtuous act like this one stands out, giving me the perfect segue into this week’s musing… virtue.

virtue |ˈvərCHo͞o| noun: behavior showing high moral standards: paragons of virtue.

  • a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person: patience is a virtue.
  • a good or useful quality of a thing: Mike was extolling the virtues of the car. There's no virtue in suffering in silence.
  • archaic virginity or chastity, especially of a woman.
  • the seventh highest order of the nine-fold celestial hierarchy (in traditional Christian angelology) 

Virtue is the cornerstone of character. It is the manifestation of moral principles or ethics that define one’s stature. In other words, it’s the “you” in you! It’s who you are when nobody’s around to impress. Many years ago, if a man (or woman) made the statement, “My word is my bond,” it simply meant that the person was trustworthy and kept their promises. I find it interesting that few use this terminology today. Is it because it is merely an antiquated term … or something much more disturbing? Are there fewer trustworthy people in our world today?

A man or woman of virtue is ALWAYS worthy of trust. When you look across the political landscape of America, wouldn’t you think that virtue would be a necessary characteristic of anyone running for the highest office of leadership in our great country? I ask that question as I firmly believe a little “soul searching” is necessary on both the part of the politicians as well as those of us who possess the awesome responsibility of electing said politicians. The antithesis of virtue is one who is unethical or corrupt; therefore, someone lacking virtue is unequivocally unfit to lead … period. That truth trickles down to running a business or leading a family.

The moral standard of America has been in steady decline over the years. While it appears that there is still a strong moral majority, they seem to have lost their voices due to an overwhelming trend perpetuated by special interest groups and lobbyists who have a bigger megaphone to trumpet the cause of the 1% citizens vs. the status quo. A big mouth does NOT a big heart make! Without virtue, the heartbeat of America begins to falter.

My friends, there are certain inalienable rights and freedoms that “we the people” have enjoyed since the incarnation of this nation. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were forged by far greater men then us, men of conviction … men of purpose … men of VIRTUE.

The value of our freedom is demonstrated no more strongly than in the fact that, over the years, approximately 1.2 million men and women in our armed forces have given their lives in service to this country. They believed that our freedom was worth the ultimate sacrifice. This is virtue … this is valor … this is a statistic that simply cannot be ignored.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
-Edmund Burke

God established virtue, and in turn, virtue established this country. It is the strong opinion of this author that we must rediscover virtue on a personal level to ensure character, a strong family unit, and ultimately, a renewed, strong, vibrant America!

Be Whole,
Michael S. Tyrrell

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8.