I got busy over the weekend and didn’t find time to post, but today I have.
SO, I’ll be working on a lot of writing projects over the next few months and I figure the subject matter is bound to overlap. One thing I’ll be thinking of this month is Virtue.
That word is very rarely used anymore, and I think I ought to know what it actually means. Let’s see what the dictionary says.
- Moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
- Conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles.
- Chastity; virginity.
- A particular moral excellence
- A good or admirable quality or property
- Effective force; power or potency (all this from dictionary.com, love that website)
As you can see virtue is a noun and kind of a verb and adjective as well. It is a characteristic. No #6 may be a bit confusing, but it means virtue as the strength of something. It is used that way because virtue was once seen as the strength of one’s character.
Now that we’ve defined it, let’s look at it. Why should I care about virtue? How does this things affect me? Is it present in our culture. Here’s a big one: how can I possibly make virtue seem relevant to people who don’t even use the word often. If at all. Seriously, when was the last time you thought about it? All obstacles I must overcome to write anything worth reading on this subject.
It’s unusual to write a blog post this way, but that’s the point. Do you ever read blogs and think about how the author tries to catch your interest? Many bloggers don’t they just write whatever and don’t seem connected with their audience at all. That’s the virtue of their writing. (See what I did there.) Now this is not an attempt to get more readers on my own blog, but I do want them to know I think of them when I’m working on this material.
Of course Virtue has a huge place in my life, though I typically call it morality. My posts are geared to encourage people to virtue. I think about it a lot. I believe in the importance of it. And I almost daily feel the sting of a country that has thrown virtue out with excellence. It has embraced mediocrity, and it has shamed the wise and intelligent.
Case in point, I recently watched part of a movie that was based off “Pride and Prejudice.” No this was not the zombie version, don’t get me started on that. This was about a modern woman going back in time into the actual story. The movie quickly took the story, tore it to shreds, and said “screw you Austen fans.” It was the most blatant disrespect of an author I’ve seen. And of a story. They stopped at nothing, they sexualized, demoralized, vulgarized, and then changed the ending altogether.
The worst of it was the main character claimed to know and love the story, but she didn’t know a blooming thing about refinement. Or manners.
Virtue may be said to be the heart of something, and this movie missed the heart of the book so entirely I could hardly believe they read it. I think they just watched the BBC version and decided to learn absolutely nothing about good writing from it.
Jane Austen stands as a threat to cheap and sexualized romance stories, and those writers seem to have formed a committee to destroy her. And she is not the only one, what about the other good stories that are being changed? What about the historical figures whoa re being mocked? What about the books that are being censored from schools because the supposedly are racist? When is someone going to stand up and say “Enough!”
Well, even if you complain about it, people will quickly tell you you are just too picky. You are left wondering what happened to standards.
I’ll tell you, it’s the loss of virtue. Less than a hundred years ago people began to reject age old morality, and to embrace a new kind that was in fact as old as the hills. Mainly this subsisted of sexual freedom (read: addiction.) And dispensing with things like manners and respect and tradition. To this day tradition is demonized by many sources. We’ve seen ups and downs since the roaring twenties, but we have yet to see a real restoration in our modern time.
There are people trying to restore standards. That’s one of the reasons for homeschooling. But we are still far outnumbered by the mediocre educators. Sorry if you happen to be in one of those schools. But I’m just telling it how it is, and believe me, I do know.
Virtue is something that must be cultivated, and that is why it was supposed to be incorporated into schooling. C. S. Lewis thought the purpose of education was to teach a student what he (or her) ought to feel about things. Not by brainwashing, but by teaching him to perceive value. But people began to say value didn’t exist, but being hypocrites (for they said that it was better to think that way, thereby ascribing value to their own philosophy,) all they really taught the children was to scorn everything that was not cold hard fact. Lewis called this “men without chests” and showed how such thinking would abolish mankind. It also abolishes virtue.
Without valuing things we cannot see, we cannot value virtue. This point was made in that show Girl Meets World, when Mr. Matthews pointed out that until you feel things, powerful things, you are not a full human being.
Until you feel, you cannot understand virtue. And that is why Apathy is plaguing our young people and our old people. There is a lack of virtue in the influences that surround us. Sadly, we have taught each other not to care. A vicious cycle.
But it is not too late. The first step is to realize the problem.
This is too long to elaborate further, so until next post–Natasha.