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Word of the Week: Virtue

Georgia Military College Prep School
Word of the Week: Virtue
Week of April 17 - 23, 2016
Definition: moral excellence; goodness; righteousness. Also conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
Quotes:
“Virtue is the truest nobility” – Miguel de Cervantes

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

“You have to choose the best, every day, without compromise...guided by your own virtue and highest ambition” - Philippa Gregory

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting to the point:
One would like to think that everyone they meet is a virtuous person.  However, that is  not always true.  Someone who puts other needs ahead of their own is virtuous.  Virtues  are the morals by which one lives.  All the “Word of the Week” examples are virtues we  should all hold true.  The Honor Code at Georgia Military College is an excellent set of  virtues.  It reads, “A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.”  It is a  code that anyone can live by; no matter if it is in one’s personal or business life; it is a  good way to go through life.   
 
Putting Words into Action:
There are so many great examples of virtuous people throughout history.  However, there are a number of individuals today who display this virtue.  Jimmy Carter, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Paul Newman are all examples of those who go above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need.  They show this virtue by empowering others who need help, just not by offering a handout.  Former President Jimmy Carter is a huge supporter of Habitat for Humanity which is based right here in Americus Georgia.  He recognizes the importance of someone having a roof over one’s head and the positive feeling it gives someone who is being a first time home owner.  

Think About It:
Who in your life is a person of virtue?  A friend?  A minister? Your boss?  A peer?  A law enforcement officer?  Someone in the medical profession?  Or is it you?  And what is they do on a daily basis that makes you recognize their virtuous traits?  Are they willing to help anyone they come in contact to or do they lead their life in such a way that you know they are true in all that they do?

Reflection

All throughout our lives we hear that moral values show our virtues, but most people don’t even know what virtues are. Virtues define our character and all that we portray ourselves to be, and in the matter of being virtuous many people take it lightly. I feel virtues and morals are closely tied together and having a high amount of both makes a person great.

The greatest leaders of our nation and around the world are those that thought not only with their brains but also their heart. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, George Washington and many others charismatic leaders were respected because they held themselves to high virtuous standards. Martin Luther King stood for the betterment of future generations, and recognized that unity was the most important factor. Abraham Lincoln was a leader who inspired many people to come together as a nation and prove that we could stand for what is right.

I asked some of the students in the prep school what they thought virtue meant to them.  C/SFC Teneshia Hunt said “Virtues are how you live your life and how you carry yourself,” and many of the students had the same views. Another classmate, C/1LT Meia Warren, added that “Virtues are important things in life or the workplace; it is what you look up to.” 

So in conclusion what we look up to, who we are, how we carry ourselves, and who we want to be, all depends on our virtues which are instilled in us through experiences and lessons.  Our first President, George Washington, once said “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”  I do not think I can think of someone more deserving of this title than him.

C/CPT Sarai Mapp is a student at Georgia Military College Prep School