Virtues, Complaints, and Trash

Note: My 2008 self wrote this. It is selectively preserved for historical interest and amusement from a lot of similar, chronologically nearby posts. It is not representative of my current beliefs or attitudes. I hope you enjoy the glimpse into a sixth grader’s psyche while he attempts to wax philosophical.

I have been pondering an interesting problem for a long time. Which virtue is the best, the most important, the most worthy of epitomizing the word “virtue”? Due to homework constraints I have been unable to put this up for a long time, which is frustrating.

My candidates: First, honesty. Then we have kindness. Then responsibility, and optimism, and courage, and intelligence. It doesn’t look like a fair match, really.

Honesty as king virtue: This is an interesting concept, but there are times when lies are perfectly acceptable and perfectly good. Just because you hate someone doesn’t mean you should tell him that. It is a lie in the sense of not telling the whole truth, but it is very, very good. Of course if the person you hate has harassed you then keeping your feelings about the person secret isn’t very good, but let’s skip the corner cases and move on.

Kindness: This seems a very good virtue. However it must be noted that being kind sometimes leads one to do the wrong thing, like a murderer dressed as a beggar of some kind ringing your doorbell. That’s probably an urban legend, but if it were to become true sometime the results would look bad. Kindness must be regulated. If you were too kind you would have donated all your money, your house, and maybe even yourself as a slave. This is ridiculous.

Responsibility: This one is slightly harder to overdo, with the extreme probably being committing suicide. It also has the benefit of never being wrong, just a little crazy at times.

Optimism: This one is impossible to overdo. It can be extreme, but that’s all. There is one problem, however; optimism gives one no guarantee of doing good things. You can be as optimistic when you are hauling bags of illegal drugs over a border as when you are doing your homework.

Courage: This one is easily overdone, just jump off a building. It also has no guarantee of being good.

Intelligence: Again, this one can’t be overdone but it gives zero guarantee.

So ends a great mental and self-oriented debate. I wonder what will become of the acrostic about milk tea I wrote today when I publish the piece. Cease to exist?

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