There are many worthy moral principles of which one can live there life by. The list of moral virtues is an extensive one. Narrowing down my personal list to seven was a daunting but enlightening task. Why seven? Because seven is the number of magick and mysticism and the number that I most closely connect with. Seven virtues on which to base my "right actions" feels right to me. Exploring these concepts has been an inner journey in exploring my humanity.
Silence is for me the foundation by which I can live my life. In Silence we truly become aware of the world around us. In Silence we learn, we feel, we connect, in ways that are not possible when we haven't stopped to pay attention. Silence for me means to keep Silent, ie. shut my damn mouth and listen and also to find quiet places to ease the stress of my mind and heart. Integrity on the other hand is a more active virtue and requires some actual effort on my part. To be a person of Integrity I must always watch my actions and judgments. I believe that practicing Silence helps to supports my Integrity.
Compassion is just something I was born with but it is no less worthy of being exalted to the status of a virtue. When I had my son sixteen years ago I decided to consciously raise him with a sense of Compassion. I can think of no other human quality so necessary to our communal existence. When we lack Compassion we are then able to inflict the most unspeakable horrors onto others. A lack of Compassion tears apart families, communities, and even the whole world. We must be able to feel for the pain and suffering of others and we must have an internal need to help alleviate that pain and suffering. Without Compassion we truly are no greater than the lowest of beasts.
As humans we are in a unique position to make conscious decisions on how we live and how we treat others. For me the virtues of Hospitality and Service reflect our needs as a communal society. I like to think on what it means to be a good host and a gracious guest, when done correctly everyone benefits. And Serving those in need strengthens our bonds of community and friendship. These are important to me in that they give me a goal to strive for as both Hospitality and Service are very active virtues. I also think that in applying these virtues to my life it bring me a sense of Honor. I do wish to be Honorable, I do wish to have a sense of pride in who and what I am and to extend that pride to my family and friends. I want to be a true and just person of good character and I want to be able to enrich the lives of those who know me.
Lastly I contemplate Piety and what it means to be a pious person. This one was initially hard because of the unspoken understanding that it reflects a persons relationship with a god. But that is not the only or complete definition of Piety. To be pious is to devote yourself to a high ideal, to a noble goal, to make the journey towards the stars. I have many devotions, all which in my mind are noble and worthy. I devote myself to my husband and our relationship, I devote myself to my children and becoming the best mother I can be, I devote myself to my Goddess and strive daily to walk the path She sets before me, and I devote myself to my community as teacher and Cleric giving to others the love and devotion they have given me.
So while courage, charity, discipline, generosity, patience, etc. are all worthy and noble virtues it is these seven that speak to me of how to be a person of good character. In exploring these virtues I have learned what in life is most important for me to be and it has awakened within me a renewed sense of purpose and action. Life is about the journey, the experience we have along the way. We can walk the path of life blind and unaware of the influences around us and within us or we can walk the path intentionally stepping carefully as we learn, grow, experience, and become.