Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Saturday, November 20, 2004

An Overview of the Virtues

"As children grow from infancy to adulthood, they need to acquire certain character-strengths: sound judgment, a sense of responsibility, personal courage, and self-mastery. These habits of mind and will and heart have traditionally been called the virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Children internalize these lifelong habits in three ways, and in this order:

"example: what they witness in the lives of parents and other adults whom they respect (and thus unconsciously imitate).

"directed practice: what they are repeatedly led to do, or are made to do, by parents and other respected adults.

"word: what they hear from parents and other respected adults as explanation for what they witness and are led to do."


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