Sometimes, I feel the ugly and imperfect human inclinations brewing from within. This happens to all of us because we are intrinsically flawed. We are human. But to keep these negative inclinations at bay, it is important to be aware of them – to even face and study them (as undesirable as it is to face that ugliness), to acknowledge that these are merely byproducts of the human experience. But just because it’s there doesn’t mean we can’t rise above them. Because of our intrinsic human imperfections, it becomes even more crucial to develop and strengthen virtues that, I believe, help thwart us from amplifying or progressing our fallen nature so that we can rise above our negative instincts. Possessing solidified virtues serve as our anchor when we are tempted to float away to entertain the negative aspects of ourselves. For example, cultivating the virtues of justice and brotherly love help us from falling to the temptation of gossip; or cultivating meekness helps us from falling to anger. Thus, my effort in sincerely trying to cultivate my virtues so that I can continuously improve my character. After all, we are not defined by our innate human imperfections, but how we choose to respond to them. Will we respond in pride or humility? Anger or meekness? Gluttony or temperance? And in refining ourselves through the strengthening of such virtues, we slowly – but surely – become better versions of ourselves.
Note – the definition of virtue per dictionary.com: Virtue is behavior showing high moral standards.