Virtues & Vices

Self compassion is tricky to master, when the compassionate concepts I am encouraged to apply, were considered heinous insults throughout my formative years.

You’re such a try-hard

Goodness me – are you letting people see you try hard to be your best self? Don’t let people know the lengths you are prepared to go to for achieving your ridiculous dreams.

You think you’re so good

Why aren’t you putting yourself down? Like everyone else does? That kind of inflated ego is not for you. Let it go.

You’re so up yourself

Spat out with disdain. Suggesting the ‘up yourself’ person is a snob. A social climbing twat that considers status more important than moral values. Being up myself would be tantamount to being a deeply unpleasant person.

You must really love yourself

Oh my goodness – worst insult ever! Said with such venom and hatred. Said to indicate the recipient of the spiteful phrase has a sense of superiority. That they consider themselves better than other people. The ultimate narcissist. To love myself would be the worst thing ever.

Then of course there are the seven vices and virtues society dictated we must live by in order to be considered a good and moral person.

Vice

  1. Lust (god forbid I display, or feel, desire for someone)
  2. Gluttony (eating anything fancier than a small salad is shameful)
  3. Greed (desire nothing – wanting material possessions is greedy)
  4. Sloth (don’t be lazy – keep busy, do stuff, don’t relax)
  5. Wrath (don’t EVER display unruly emotions – especially anger)
  6. Envy (be grateful for what you have – coveting things is selfish)
  7. Pride (don’t show off your talents – it’s distasteful)

Obviously all these vices can also be unpleasant behaviours, but without good role models and guidance, it is easy to learn that sitting down for a cup of tea is “slothful”, or noticing a good looking boy is “lustful”. It’s all in the context and the degree.

Virtue

  1. Chastity (be demure and ladylike – not desirous)
  2. Temperance (all things in moderation is far too decadent)
  3. Charity (give to others – never take)
  4. Diligence (workin’ hard or hardly workin’? relaxation is evil)
  5. Patience (wait, wait, wait – upon others, for others, with others)
  6. Kindness (offer yourself to others at all times – regardless of the cost)
  7. Humility (your own needs are of no consequence)

Again. These virtues are beautiful virtues – when taken in the right context, and one’s own needs are not subjugated to the virtue.

I would like to suggest we are all two-sided coins. We all need a little lust and a little charity. Some wrath and some patience. We all need a balance of the vices and virtues – for all the virtues can be vices, and all the vices can be virtues. It’s all about the context.

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