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The Single Virtue That Leads To An Upright Character

April 4th, 2023

Pride is the great obstacle in developing moral character, and thus by cause and effect, winning the respect of our fellow man.

It is the great obstacle because it prevents us from recognizing and acknowledging our current faults and mistakes, which tend to trigger others and turn them into our antagonists, resulting in them often harboring ill will towards us and likely withdrawing or withholding their cooperation.

If we fail to recognize and acknowledge our faults and mistakes, we condemn ourselves to never learning from our errors in thought, word and deed, such that we may correct them, which only forces us to experience the same undesirable results in our relations and affairs over and over again, leading to perpetual inner states of strife and distress.

Humility is the remedy to this great obstacle.

It empowers us to look at ourselves, not as we may think or believe ourselves to be, but as we actually are, objectively. And it is through this lens that we make ourselves capable of correcting ourselves and our errors because we are now aware of them, so that through this course of action we come to change the results we get in our relations and affairs.

But if we remain prideful, we set forth the sole condition that makes us susceptible to others making known our faults and mistakes at any time, whereby we may encounter embarrassment and disgrace. And it is in our response to such accusations that we then tend to indignantly defend ourselves and the current state of our moral character with denials, excuses, justifications and scapegoats.

With pride as our compass, when we are accused of something that we consider wrong or offensive, we either:

  1. Deny we are guilty,
  2. Excuse our behavior,
  3. Justify our behavior by framing it in a constructive light, or
  4. Blame others or outside circumstances for having enacted it.

But this instinctive response just signals to others that we lack responsibility, refuse to hold ourselves accountable, and are ignorant to the true natures of our current moral character when they know we are in the wrong, which usually results in them losing respect for us.

To circumvent these undesirable results, the person who would make themselves a master of themselves, develops humility whereby they no longer get triggered and go into these instinctive reactions whenever others accuse them of some flaw or short-coming. Instead, they utilize their reason and ask themselves if their critic is correct in their allegations based on one thing:

The Facts.

So the person gets them.

Then, if they find that the critic is in the right and that they is in the wrong, they express gratitude for having uncovered yet another one of their faults, knowing now that it has placed themselves into a position where they may correct them, thus improving themselves, their relations and affairs as a direct result, lending to more peace, joy and happiness in life.

And if the person finds their critic is wrong, they simply smile, knowing full well that their accuser lacks wisdom and sound judgment.

The person who adopts this course of action soon works out their every fault, remolds their moral character into iron, and makes themselves a greater power of influence among their kinship.


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Copyright 2023, Kynan Patram. All rights reserved.