"So true is this: civil liberty cannot be
long preserved without virtue."
Virtue. It's a word we don't hear much about today - - either by definition, or by example. Come to think of it, it's one of those words I expect to find in Merriam's collection with the term archaic adjacent to it. Any talk of virtue is likely to be met with a blank stare or a patronizing smile.
It's sort of a bleak way to return, isn't it. It's been several weeks since I've dropped into the blogosphere, and here I come with a rant. Well, maybe not a real rant. Maybe it's just a quick hop on, hop off the soap box. Maybe.
This doesn't happen very often, but Merriam wants us to know that virtue is not just any garden variety term. It's meaty & robust, reaching far beyond it's synonym morality.
- a: conformity to a standard of right, b: a particular moral excellence
- manly strength or courage, valor
- a commendable quality or trait, merit
- a capacity to act, potency
- chastity, especially in a woman
"The world on the whole will gain by a liberty,
without which virtue cannot exist."
"There is no truth more thoroughly established,
than that there exists . . . an indissoluble union
between virtue and happiness."
Virtue's linkage (or lack thereof) extends well beyond the domain of women, as Merriam (and scripture) tells us. We need only do a bit of channel surfing to see how dreadfully absent it is from today's line up:
... The Family Viewing Hour now hosts 4 letter words and adult themes (What's with that "GCB" thing, anyway? And all the paranormal stuff?).
... Test the political waters and risk 3rd degree burns.
... Flip through the Life & Times of Hollywood Types and plug your nose.
... Scan the global news scene and quickly grab your Guide to Lunacy for an explanation.
So maybe this IS a rant after-all ...
I am sooooooo grateful for all the people I know - like YOU - who subscribe to virtue's value.
(A)s God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another ...
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Rare? You betcha! And no wonder - - it's not just anyone that has a stash of rubies.