Virtue. Do we really know what it is today? Do we really seek it, value it, live it? Do we see it as only related to some, only belonging to some? Do we think that some of us are incapable of experiencing it? Do we think that "we" are automatically more virtuous than others because of what "we" believe or think, or where we live or work or play, or who we are?
Virtue, I do believe, by its very nature, always invites us to be better and not accept now or us as enough, best or above and already better than others. While we may easily see vice or bad habits, defining being good may be more difficult today- more confusing, frustrating, complicated, argumentative, divisive, harder to agree-upon and generalize without conflict, anger, debate, or even vitriol. It seems like, in times past, virtue was more of a universal standard of goodness. We knew right from wrong. Today, while it seems some virtuous actions from our past have freed us to be more individual, more the unique gift we each are, paradoxically, we seem to be losing or perhaps misplacing the universal standard for virtue. Have we created a "moral relativism" today that says, "anything goes," whatever you or I believe is ok, good, virtuous? Or, might we be retaliating against this individual morality in a radical way, trying to change and correct it, aggressively or violently? Or, do we think all is well and virtue or vice is there for the choosing? I wonder if, not unlike an identified "saint" of old, to live a good habit, virtuous way of life today, one walks somewhat alone and even lonely, perhaps feeling somewhat apart from others, unaccepted, not always understood, even rejected, criticized, hated. Maybe to live virtuously means to never be too comfortable with ourself. To take this virtuous road less traveled may require a leap of faith beyond which many may value or choose to seek. My work in psychotherapy with my clients gifts me to be a guide to virtue for those who seek it.