Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Virtue development, Faith, part two

As we consider in what to put our faith, it has dawned on us that the things of the ego are mere idols who have enticed us with false promises and so we have begun our search for a more authentic and genuine understanding of what will provide satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

We come to understand that it is not acquiring things that are external to us that will make us happy but rather developing our internal capacity to manage ourselves and our relationships in ways that have been called "virtues" or "positive character traits."

Knowing in what to use as our development goals becomes the key to our successful development. There is a period of sorting out what has value and what doesn't. Should one cheat and lie to get ahead and achieve one's goals? The world of ego tells us that this is often the way because everybody does it.

Perhaps we engage in cheating and lying behavior. We lie and cheat on our spouse, on our friends, on our taxes, in school and at work. After years of "cutting corners," "taking advantage," exploiting and using others", we realize we have lost our self respect and authenticity and don't even know who we are any more. Yes, we have the prizes, the trophies, the money, the pleasure, but deep down we realize we have sold our soul to the devil for short term gains which have turned sour and we now recognize as counterfeit.

And so we question what we have valued and the way we have lived our lives up to this point. We say to ourselves, there must be a better way. With this awareness, we start looking and slowly begin to value other things which have been held up to be better choices. One such better way are the principles of Unitarian Univeralism as well as many other philosophical and moral prinicples.

We begin to take more responsibility for our decision making power and we become more discriminating in that which we choose to value. We are more purposeful and deliberate in what to put our faith.

To be continued

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