Virtuous living.

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Screen-Shot-2015-01-04-at-2.47.26-PM1
The hamburger we eat brings only
momentary satisfaction, but the
hamburger we buy for the hungry
person brings lasting joy.
We know that we ought to be virtuous. We know that when we live virtuous lives we have a better sense of self and of purpose. We know that when we live virtuous lives we bring about heaven on earth. We know that when we live virtuous lives we feel better.
NOTE: click to read the article “You, in a circle, with schmutz” to get a sense of how living a virtuous life can help
us deal better with our problems.
But, what is a virtue?
A virtue is something that makes our life better and makes the lives of others better also. Virtues are what give us our higher sense of self. It is, in essence, doing good for the greatest good. Virtue is defined as behavior showing high moral standards.
Let me tell you about some of my favorite virtues.
Generosity.

    • Generosity is first and foremost of the virtues. When we give, we become less attached to both material things and also to our precious sense of ourselves. While I cannot find the quote, I remember once learning that “Generosity is the source from which all other virtues stem.” So, give!

Humility.

    • Humility means knowing ourselves, and having a sense of self. In other words, we recognize that we are not the be-all and end-all of everything. This is not saying that you oughtn’t be fabulous, of course. We just need to remember that our brilliance and radiance is a reflection of a greater light than your own. Heed to words in the Talmud (Ber 28b): Know before whom you stand!

Love,kindness, and compassion.

    • We need perennially to be kind. Not only does it behoove us to not get mad at people, but we need to be kind to people who are angry at or rude to us -after all, those people don’t mean to lose their top or get angry. They, like us, are probably striving to do their best at all times. Be kind. Always. And, when in doubt, be kind.

Patience.

  • Patience is something that can conquer anger. Patience as a virtue is something we all need to build up. That can sometimes be difficult. I have a friend who once told me she was looking for a way to become more patient. I said, “Oh my goodness. I have a three-step easy solution on how to get patience instantly.” She said, “Really?” I said, “No.” Patience takes time. Be patient.

Our virtues build our sense of self and expand who we are. (This is in opposition to material things that build up a sense of self but not in the right way.)
Pick a virtue and strive to incorporate it.
This week’s wisdom_biscuit:
Emphasize a virtue this week (Patience, Love, Humility, Generosity) and examine how doing so impacts your life.
With love,
rabbi_brian_name_written

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