Friday, January 22, 2010

Vice and Virtue

A quote from Friedman essay about literature, but with much greater application:

"Its vices are the defects of its virtues"

This really resonated with me. Does it ring true for you?

  • The unmotivated/unambitious vices are usually paired with the virtue of being easy going and not a worry wart.

  • The vice of being high-strung, inflexible, rigid usually goes with the virtue of being organized, planning ahead, detail-oriented.

  • The vice of being sensitive, easily hurt, emotional goes with the virtue of being empathetic, caring deeply, feeling freely.

  • The vice of being hasty, blindly jumping into things, rash goes with the virtue of being a risk-taker, brave, fearless, spontaneous, eager to see an idea to fruition.

  • The vice of timidity, inaction, lost opportunities accompanies the virtue of caution, careful research, and logical analysis before decision-making.

  • The vice of shirking work, avoiding responsibility, being light-minded, shallow, cliqueish usually goes with the virtue of being social, fun, energetic, friendly, talkative.

  • The vice of eating too much with the virtue of appreciating delicious food, being able to create delicious food.

  • The vice of laziness with the virtue of restfulness or playfulness.

  • The vice of work-a-holic, busy, forget-the-real-meaning-of-things person with the virtue of hardworking provider, ambition.

  • The vice of pack rat with the virtue of valuing memories.

I am a planner, a culinary artist, empathetic, ambitious, memory lover. Now you know all my vices too. :)

I think that when the Savior promises all our weaknesses can become strengths through His Atonement, it does not mean he will root out of us those innate characteristics so that we can no longer recognize ourselves. He will simply help us to transform them over to the virtuous side of them. We will still be ourselves, but our best selves.


  1. I think that's a very, very true premise.

  2. Interesting. I always thought of them as pros and cons of personality traits, but virtues and vices work too. Cool painting too. Is that one of yours???

  3. i love that concept, and especially watching it take place in my life. the more i open my heart to Him, the more i feel myself wanting to become more virtuous, helping me let go of my vices. for me, the process is incredibly slow. but i think the journey is important, and i'm just thankful for His mercy!

    p.s. i loved how much i learned from you the other night! i'm working on a formal analysis now :)... what's next???!

  4. I love this! This makes me feel so much better about myself. :) I love the concept that our weakness (our vices that go along with our virtues) can be made strong (into virtues). Thanks for sharing that thought!

  5. Very true, Elisa. and I love the comparison of vice/virtue and how our own little idiosyncrasies are blessings...and curses (ever seen Monk?). I like being able to think about all the things that seem inconvenient or annoying about myself...and then think about the positive attributes that are there too. that's a good thought.