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The Seven Virtues: A Survey

1.February.2011

Charity. Chastity. Diligence. Humility. Kindness. Patience. Temperance.

The Seven Virtues.

Question: “If you had to choose just one of the Virtues as the main guiding force of your life, which would you pick?”

Followed, naturally, by the most difficult follow-up question ever invented by man: “Why?”

Participate in the survey after jump.

First, a little backgrounder on this survey:

(Note: if you’re easily persuaded to vote one way or if you can’t be bothered with a lengthy introduction, skip all the text below and head straight to the poll. I won’t mind. 🙂 )

A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation over SMS with one of my closest friends, when, out of the blue, she asked me this intriguing question:

Which of the Seven Virtues do you consider to be the most important?

I couldn’t choose right away. At length—after mulling it over for maybe five, ten minutes—I responded:

Kindness.

To me, a Virtue, however pure and consistent, is useless if it does not do anybody any ‘real’ good.

As I see it, kindness is the Virtue that has the most direct link to our making a significant difference in another person’s life, and to society as a whole.

I mean, think about it. Of the Seven Virtues, only the effects of kindness can be readily felt after the act. For instance, when you’re comfortably seated in a bus and you offer your seat to someone else who seems to need it more than you do, when you offer to hug someone who really needs it, when you decide to be there for someone who needs company, when you listen (quietly) to someone who needs to be heard, acknowledged, understood.

And you know what the greatest thing about kindness is? Even the smallest act of kindness goes a long way—much longer when it is done in the most dire of circumstances.

I couldn’t choose charity/love (agape)—the notion of self-sacrifice/self-denial is overkill for a Virtue (which is why it belongs to the three theological virtues)—and I couldn’t choose chastity, diligence, humility, patience, or temperance—these are too self-centered to have any actual, palpable effect on others. Kindness is just right.

And so, I consider kindness as the most important Virtue to uphold.

All that thinking made me curious as to which of the Seven Virtues we denizens of the interweb consider to be of the utmost importance—hence, this survey.

I think it could lead to enlightenment—not just for me, but also for everyone—when we see which of the Seven Virtues most of us consider valuable in this modern day and age. So I encourage you to participate and spread the word so that plenty of other people can find and answer this survey as well.

* * *

I’ve made my choice. Now it’s your turn to pick.

And if you’re so inclined, please leave a comment explaining your choice. 🙂

UPDATE: This survey is not meant to arouse debate, but to get a sense of which of the Seven Virtues Internet users consider as the most important to uphold in this time and age we live in, and, more importantly, to encourage everyone to seriously re-think their understanding of the Virtues (thanks to Craeyola for pointing this out).

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. fradgeebots permalink
    1.February.2011 10:49 pm

    With kindness, I guess everything else follows.

    • 1.February.2011 11:00 pm

      Right on, Fradge. Nice to know we agree on this. 🙂

  2. 2.February.2011 4:44 am

    I agree. Kindness wins the day! Because really, most of the other virtues, except maybe diligence, can be seen as an extension of kindness. 🙂

    • 2.February.2011 4:55 am

      Hi dear! I’m glad we see eye to eye. 🙂 And you’re absolutely right. All the other virtues kind of spring from kindness. Why didn’t I think of that? 😀

      By the way, did you forget to cast your vote? I just checked the poll results and there’s still only two votes tallied (mine and Fradge’s). 🙂

  3. 2.February.2011 9:18 am

    Kindness — and everything else will follow! 😀

    • 2.February.2011 4:46 pm

      You’re for kindness too, Korhz? Cool! 🙂

  4. 2.February.2011 7:57 pm

    Humility is my answer..

    I don’t want to defame the rest of the virtues by picking this one cause that will lose the very sense of the word and I believe this survey is not meant to raise any debate at all..

    So my answer is humility 🙂

    By humility, every person is subjected to become submissive to God and to others.. You are humble enough to realize that an elderly needed the seat you have then you offer it to him – that’s kindness.

    Humility is from within, kindness is its extension – they go hand in hand.
    When you are humble enough, you’ll understand your weakness and others too..
    your faults..the need to be sorry and repent..
    The need to help others without asking anything even a thank you in return..

    It is self denial and acceptance of what God wants you to see and act upon.

    – theology class. Haha.

    This is a lovely post Jedo! 🙂 Very interesting indeed.

    • 2.February.2011 8:43 pm

      Hi Craeyola! Thanks for understanding and pointing out that this survey’s goal is not to start a debate, but to get a sense of what most Internet users think is the most important Virtue to uphold in this time and age, and, more importantly, to make us seriously re-think our understanding of the Virtues. I better update the post and make that clear. I’ll credit you, of course. 😉

      It was never my intention to imply that by having to choose one Virtue as our main guiding force in life, that the other six Virtues are any less valuable or that they shouldn’t be part of how we live our independent lives.

      And you may be right, that the Seven are inseparable, though I have yet to be convinced of that (I’ve seen acts of kindness by arrogant people—this inconsistency must be part of our being human).

      Nevertheless, I commend you for choosing humility. Thanks for liking and taking the time to comment, dear. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  5. 2.February.2011 9:18 pm

    You’re very much welcome Jedo 🙂

    It’s good to choose one amongst the other virtues as one’s driving force in life cause I’m afraid to utilize all seven virtues everyday..I may levitate, reach outer space and lose breath – then I won’t be able to read wonderful posts like this 😦

    Speaking of those arrogant people, perhaps they have kindness in them, that we cannot confirm nor falsify..but sometimes I do good things, not because I am kind, partly yes, the other part benefits me that makes it quits; helping makes me feel good plus it offers..good publicity as politicians often claim.

    Are politicians humble? They pretend to be. Are they kind? They pretend to be. Sometimes we are mere politicians ourselves. But if we learn to become humble..then kindness becomes a natural thing, easier for us to become superheroes minus the publicity 🙂

  6. 2.February.2011 11:03 pm

    HMPF!!! this looks familiar. so, i’m reduced to “one of my closest friends”? what happened to “love”? hahahaha. see you soon. :*

    • 3.February.2011 11:41 pm

      Sorry, love. If I said “I was having a conversation with love” they might misunderstand, so I just said “one of my closest friends” instead. Well, because you are one of my closest friends, right? 😉

      Yep. See you soon. 🙂

  7. 3.February.2011 12:48 am

    I just feel it’s kindness .
    For instance, one maybe diligent and all that, but will kick the cat that annoys him.

  8. 3.February.2011 11:26 pm

    I’d go with patience. Specially in public places, where being kind does not apply and you have to muster all the patience not to smack that assprick in the head who stole the taxi you just flagged, or bumped you hard while you’re walking, sending the things you’re carrying all over the floor and then that person pretends not to have noticed.

  9. 7.February.2011 1:06 pm

    KINDNESS! 🙂

    • 7.February.2011 9:31 pm

      Hi Jec! Yet another vote for kindness! 😀

      Thanks for voting, dear.

  10. 9.February.2011 12:03 am

    As the saying goes…

    “Humility is the mother of all virtues.”

    😀

  11. 9.February.2011 1:35 am

    Hey.

    • 9.February.2011 1:39 am

      Hey back. Have you voted here yet? 😀

      • 9.February.2011 1:40 am

        I have read this already, but I really don’t have an answered so I just left it at that.

      • 9.February.2011 1:41 am

        I see. Well, that’s fine. 🙂

  12. 12.February.2011 2:19 am

    Out of the seven virtues, I value kindness the most.

    I value kindness the most, because…because you guys have said it all, and there’s nothing left for me to say! Hahahaha.

    Though if I may add, Craeyola’s point was impeccably good too.

    But kindness it is, for me and for you. For you, and for me and the entire human raaaaace. 😀

    • 12.February.2011 3:15 am

      There’s no need to explain why you picked kindness, mate. I believe you’re right, everything has been said about why it’s such a great Virtue to choose as a guiding force in life. So, thanks for voting! 😀

      Yep, Craeyola gave a pretty convincing argument for Humility, and rightfully so, since Humility is a very noble Virtue to uphold.

      But, we’ve made our own choices. Glad to know we’re on the same page on this. 🙂

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