VIRTUES, THE VALUABLE AIDES IN LIFE’S JOURNEY

“Virtues are acquired through endeavor which rests wholly upon yourself” – Sidney Lanier

So, I have this habit of giving life to inanimate or abstract things to better help me relate with them. I give voices to plants and animals and somehow it helps me understand them better. Now, I am not a freak so don’t go running off……Lol… I sometimes don’t know how or why I do it but I guess I just do and flow with it. 

Weird, right? Naaaaa….It’s fun. It helps me relate more with life and have a better understanding and perspective of things. I like to think of virtues as our aids and accomplices on our journey through life. So now, this is me creating a story about virtues and how I imagine them to help us walk this road of life.

Knock! Knock!!

“Who is there?” Patience asked

“We are – Faith, Hope and Love” the trio replied.

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“Welcome lovelies”, Patience said “The more, the merrier. “It’s going to be a great party having fun with humans.” 

“Sure thing”, replied Peace. “I love hanging out with our friends especially…Jack, Ese, Uche, Oge, Mary, Tom, Bola, Henry, Williams” she happily counted.

“But where is Jim?” Love asked

Truth, Loyalty, Courage and Temperance screamed and ran to hug their friends. “Gratitude, Kindness and Honesty are already on their way here” Truth said.

“Ooooooohhhhhhhh, colour me excited”, Enthusiasm giggled.

There was another knock on the door……

“Who is there?” Faith asked

“Take a wild guess” came the reply

Faith screamed and jumped as she opened the door for Divine Grace, Mercy and Favor; the triplets. They all hugged each other and cheered. As faith was about to close the door, she heard “wait for us” from a distance.

They all looked back to see Diligence, Humility, Forgiveness, Wisdom and Chastity running down. “This party will really be grand and to think it’s on the sea”. 

“Hey Love” Mary said, “Jim is around back”. Love hurried to check on Jim.

“The sea is perfectly calm. I expect we would have a smooth sail.” Loyalty said looking out the window. “I hope you are right” Jack said, “The weather forecast did show there may be a storm”.

“Hey guys! What are we talking about?” Faith chipped in happily. “Well, we are just so excited how grand this gathering is going to be and how wonderful it is to have everyone on-board but the weather is giving us cause for concern”. Truth explained. Faith looked out the window, smiled and said to them, “It’s going to be a fun party”. And they all cheered.

“Expecting any more?” Confidence asked. “Let’s start heading out to the ship. We ought to have started this journey long ago.” “Good Fortune, Prayer and Calmness are yet to come. Oh! Here they are. Welcome aboard guys”. Courage pointed out.

Determination walked towards them with a list in her hand. “Let’s set sail” she said. “All 50 of us are accounted for……except Jim. I thought I heard someone say he is around?” 

“Yup. Jim is at the other side chatting with Love”, Beauty pointed out.

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They set sail and for a while, all went smoothly with everyone having so much fun laughing, dancing, playing….

……And then Wisdom called the attention of the others to the clouds gathering way ahead. “We would scale through so everyone keep calm” said Calmness. “At least one thing is certain…. none of us will be lost.”

They all laughed. “The ship is strongly built with all the right materials most especially having God Almighty as the foundation. It can withstand any storm”. Ese was visibly scared. Calmness walked over to her and held her hand. She brightened up.

By the way where is Grace?” Integrity asked.

Prayer pointed and everyone’s eyes followed the direction of her fingers and there was Divine Grace, steering the wheel of the ship.

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And then the storm started. 

Everyone needed to pair up to ensure their safety. Calmness assisted by Patience in their awesome manner took everyone’s mind off panic. Grace and Diligence continued to steer the ship off dangerous waves. Humility, Temperance and Chastity kept monitoring all the important parameters like oil levels, linkages of the steering gear in the steering room.

Faith and Hope continued to monitor the water tight doors of the ship. Favor, Honesty, Loyalty, Courage and Mercy manned the bridge on the ship with Favor acting as the Officer of the Watch and Courage holding the forte as the Able Seaman.

Love and Truth maintained the important tanks to prevent pump inlet from losing suction at any time. Gratitude and Kindness stayed close by the stand by generator. Good fortune, Forgiveness and Prayer manned the engine room.

Everyone did what they could to assist each other and make sure they weathered the storm. As they struggled, Peace pointed to a bright light peering its way through the dark clouds and said out loud, “Peace, be still”.

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All eyes turned towards the direction of her finger and they saw the hand of God ordering the waves to be calm. 

With God on their side and with great team work, the ship arrived shore safely and no lives were lost.

This is life for us. We are the ship. Faith, hope, love and the others are the virtues God has blessed us with while the storm is the downside to life i.e. the hardship we experience in life.

Calmness was bold enough to say that none of them will be lost as hope and faith were in the boat too. No matter the gravity of the storm, so long as we have the trio faith, hope and love, we will always scale through.

We as the ship have much to do with the survival of all on board. Hence the number one requirement is having God Almighty for our foundation if we are to weather the storms of life. 

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No negativity will get us down and none of these good virtues will be lost. Instead, they play their individual roles in making us stronger in any battle against evil; these virtues together fight off the negativity.

So somehow, we tend to appreciate even our weak sides because it is these weaknesses that brings out the strength and potentials in us.

Life will be boring if all is rosy. The ups and downs make life interesting and fun. Though the downside could be really hurtful and painful, sometimes, but at the end when we are victorious it becomes part of our history that makes us stronger, wiser, and braver. Then we realize what doesn’t break us only makes us stronger.

So, let me share this amazing story on Patience written by Lauren Martin (www.elitedaily.com). Here goes:

A Sweet Lesson on Patience

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

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‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

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We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds she had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..

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I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Isn’t this a really great story?

The importance of all these amazing virtues cannot be overemphasized. They are the hints and clues to solving all of life’s mysteries and puzzles.

See, life is in itself not really complicated. It is truly simple but we the humans are the complicated ones. Study the life of a child for example…..they have no complications, complexities or whatever term you want to use. They live life happily and simply. They just live. 

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Marianne Williamson said, “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the things that could go wrong””

The virtues or qualities of Patience, Simplicity, Forgiveness, Happiness, Truth, Faith, Hope, Love, Trust and the likes are simply our guides to help us through this amazing and interesting journey of life.

They simply help to untie the knots that life could sometimes bring our way and they glide us through easily. Though there may be a few delays, but we would get to our destinations.

Some of these virtues, we would have to inculcate in us. We could learn the art of Patience, Prayer, Perseverance, Calmness and most especially Gratitude.

Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all other virtues” and this is rightly true.

I always say “Gratitude paves way for many other favors and blessings”.

Each virtue we make a habit, makes the journey of life smoother and less bumpy. It doesn’t take away the pot holes but it sure makes life an interesting ride.

Contrary to what you might think, virtues don’t make you a boring or an uninteresting individual. It doesn’t mean your life is just like a straight arrow hence rigidity.

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Not at all…..you think the fun in life lie in vices? You are wrong. Vices only lead you down turmoil straight into an unhappy life and destruction.

Virtues on the other hand are very adventurous. They are not easily attained because vice would fight with all it has to ensure you never inculcate virtues.

Every single virtue has a vice on the other side as seen in the pic above. Just as there are opposites in life – day and night; happiness and sadness; pains and joy; tears and laughter; so also there are virtues and vices. It is left for you to make a choice and stick to one.

You cannot say you have the virtue of love and exhibit the vice of hatred neither can you say you have the virtue of humility when you reek of pride. You are either one or the other. 

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However, just as it is the challenges you face that brings out the strength in you, so also it is the vices in you that brings out the virtues.

Abraham Lincoln did say, “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues”. We have the knowledge of good and evil. So, make your choice.

To live and lead a beautiful life is to be on the side of virtues because as Megan Berge rightly said, “Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent”.

A happy life is a virtuous life.

You can live such amazing and great life. All you have to do is decide. Make that decision to become more virtuous and you would see how things would turn around for you.

Thank you so much for taking out time to read this beautiful piece. I hope you found it enlightening. I really would appreciate your feedback.

Featured image source:

http://www.dpcdsb.org/AGNES/Our+Faith/Tree+of+Virtues.htm

So what virtues have you found easy to imbibe and how have they worked for you? What vices are you struggling to get rid of? Kindly leave your comments below. You never can tell…..your story or comment may just be the answer to someone’s prayers.

 

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