Trying to be virtuous leads to success

Belle Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

It’s important to empathize the value of living a virtuous life now more than ever because of the messages being spread in today’s society.

It’s a trend for people, especially teens, to be told that in order to feel good, they simply must do self-care or embrace themselves because they are already perfect. Makeup, skin care, and clothing ads show how products make people feel better and more valuable. It’s assumed that everyone is already the best version of themselves internally, in order to promote a feel-good mentality.
However, we know that’s not true. What is shown on the outside through store-bought products doesn’t make one a better person. The only way to improve ones character is through virtues.
First, it’s important to establish what the definition of a virtue is. A virtue is a commendable quality or trait; it can be a behavior that shows a moral excellence. They make up an exceptional character and a good personality and can make someone an enjoyable person to be around.
We should always be working towards being better people each day. The question is: how can we evolve if we’re not being given advice on how to do so, and instead we’re told we’re already perfect by society?
High school is the most fundamental four years for growth. You come into freshman year as an early teenager and leave as an adult. Between those four years, there are significant memories and relationships, but there are also struggles and challenges. As we grow even beyond college, we will make mistakes and errors; however, that’s okay because it’s not the mistakes you make as much as it is what you learn from them.
The virtue of patience has been vital in students’ success. In a school full of hundreds of students, it’s easy to get wrapped up in other classmates’ successes. Maybe a friend aces the math test you’re taking without even studying. It takes true patience to understand that not all concepts will come with ease to you. It takes time and dedication, which isn’t always easy to understand and wait for
Temperance goes along with time management. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun of being young, to think that schoolwork doesn’t seem like a priority. When offered a fun night out with friends or finishing an essay due at midnight, the most appealing option is to enjoy life and go out with friends. Having voluntary self-restraint is difficult, but it’s a vital virtue that will enrich the mind and heart, leading to future success.
Last, and possibly most importantly, is the virtue of courage. Being brave amidst fear takes strength. One of the most important qualities of a person is being unique. In school it’s easy to blend in with the crowd and go with the flow. A virtuous person doesn’t just stick to the status quo, but instead goes beyond to speak up and express themselves. In a room full of silent voices, be the one to say what’s on your mind and stick up for others.
Virtue gives us value beyond our appearance, wallets, and status. In a time full of uncontrollable events, the one thing we can take command over is working on our own character. Instead of viewing money and appearance as the only valuable commodities that make a person who they are, try to remember that true confidence comes from assurance in yourself.
When society de-emphasizes the importance of virtue, people have to fall back on other superficial things to feel good about themselves. These band-aids, however, are only a temporary fix that can only be permanently solved with virtue.
Virtues make us strong and help us establish our sense of purpose. They help us know who we are and who we want to become, and they even give us a sense of worth as a person. This affirmation will not just make you have an overall feeling of positivity, but also attract others to your shining light.
The best thing about learning virtues is we don’t need anyone else to teach or practice them; all we need is ourselves.
Our virtues may at times be the only thing in our lives that we can actually control. No matter what life may throw at us, we can always improve who we truly are and how we react to situations. Reflect and stay virtuous as this year comes to a close and you’re onto your next adventure.