Primary Virtue. Wisdom.
Wisdom is the thoughtful interplay of purpose and virtue in our lives. It is the ability to discern what is true, right, important or lasting and to act in keeping with this knowledge.
In many traditions, wisdom is seen as a blend of compassion and knowledge which are shaped into tangible action through the practice of other virtues. Together, knowledge and compassion give us the ability to perceive things as they really are, to care deeply, and to act in ways that serve the well-being of that which we cherish.
We grow toward wisdom only with patience and practice. Wisdom takes a lifetime of cultivation. If we seek wisdom, insights emerge that guide our day to day actions. Over time, these small particulars accumulate as our unique contribution to the world.
Idealism means seeing the underlying goodness, beauty or promise in the world and then allowing this to shape our moods and actions. It is a deliberate choice to focus on the possible and to trust that these possibilities can become the dominant reality.
When we cultivate idealism, we focus on what is lovely and loveable in other people. Their imperfections and rough edges remind us simply that their lives are works in progress. Our idealism helps them to see their good qualities and to grow them.
When idealism guides our lives, it melts away cynicism and despair, replacing them with light and hope.
Orderliness is having a sense of where things belong and how they relate to each other, and keeping them organized accordingly. When there is a place for everything and everything in its place, then we are able to think and work efficiently. We are also more able to work collaboratively –to share tools and space with others.
To be orderly, we also must have a sense of priorities, of what is most important and what we must let go. We can only put our lives in order if our priorities are clear.
In this sense, orderliness is not so much an external habit as a quality of our mental life. It means that we seek to understand how things relate to each other--their similarities and differences, the cause and effect relationships that connect them, and how these relate to our own values and aspirations.
Patience is allowing time to run its course and allowing people, including ourselves, to work and grow at our own pace. Patience moves our minds away from frustrations, expectations or “shoulds” and aligns us with reality. When we are patient, our energy is available to make good things happen.
Patience must be cultivated, and yet the marvelous world around and within us offers infinite and beautiful reminders that small slow changes create change beyond imagining.
Reverence is a deep sense of respect for marvels that surround us and that brought us into existence. It is an awareness of ourselves as small beings in an order beyond the grasp of any single human mind.
Rather than rushing about impulsively, we watch and listen with a sense of humility, delight and wonder. We are careful to avoid hasty action that can destroy an intricate or delicate balance that inspires our awe.
Reverence calls us to service. When we have a mindset of reverence, it seem natural to use our life energy to preserve, honor and elevate something greater than ourselves.
Vision is the ability to see people and situations clearly, not only for what they are but for what they can become. Vision offers a clear image of a possible future, one worth striving for. When we apply vision to people, we prioritize kindness and acceptance while encouraging growth.
Vision shapes our lives by providing guiding purpose. It structures our priorities and activities. It inspires us and gives us hope. It helps us to define who we are and who we want to be.
Vision is one of the defining qualities of leadership; a leader calls people together communicates a vision, and inspires them to pursue it.
When we practice vision, we place trust in our dreams and ideas while utilizing the insight and knowledge of our experience. When a group of people come together around a clear vision, things that seem impossible become real.