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Virtue 101: Goodness
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Practical tips on how to form the virtue of goodness in our children.

two girls hugging

Goodness is the virtue that leads us to go beyond the usual indifference and look at others with love. It is a virtue that leads us to give special consideration to others’ happiness and development when we make our decisions.

GOAL

• To help the children understand that what they do or don’t do will have a direct impact on others’ well-being.
• To remind them that goodness is generous and does not expect anything in return. We do not have to advertise our acts of kindness, because then they lose their meaning and value.
• To help them discover that goodness also involves having the strength to control their own temper, passions, and impulses for the good of others.
• To lead them to discover that being kind will fill them with joy, freedom, true love, and happiness.

We cannot forget that our children learn from our example. We ourselves must strive to see the good in others, avoid making judgments, and be understanding of people and their needs with patience and equanimity.

WHY DO WE WANT TO FOSTER THE VIRTUE OF GOODNESS?

• Because we were created to love, be loved, share, and contribute to the common good.
• Because we all have something good to give, and it is our duty to develop our positive qualities so as to share them with others.
• Because goodness leads us to treat everyone with kindness and courtesy. No one deserves to be mistreated.
• Because goodness and kindness are the basis of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
• Because anyone who is unable to recognize the value of other people will not be able to overcome selfishness and superficiality, and will not be able to form stable and firm relationships.

LIVING GOODNESS MEANS:

• Developing my qualities and talents to the maximum, and using them to respond to others’ needs.
• Speaking about others with respect, not criticizing or telling lies about anyone. No one deserves to be trash talked.
• Treating everyone with kindness, goodness, and joy. No one deserves to be treated badly.
• Doing my duties with responsibility and love, and not wasting my gifts and talents.
• Not remaining quiet or passive when I can and should help someone who needs it.
• Following through on what my parents, teachers, coaches, etc. ask of me.
• Valuing and taking care of others’ work and effort.
• Asking pardon on time and doing what is necessary to remedy any occasions when I did not act with kindness.
• Saying hello to people, thanking them, saying “please” when asking for things, saying goodbye, and treating others with courtesy.
• Treating others as I would like to be treated.

WHAT MAKES IT HARD TO LIVE THIS VIRTUE?

• A materialistic and utilitarian society that leads us to grab what we want without regard for others.
• Selfishness, which prevents us from seeing the needs and rights of others, and which makes us think only of ourselves.
• Prejudices and an inability to see others’ dignity.
• Grudges, envy, and indifference to others’ needs.
• The lack of simplicity and humility to recognize our own mistakes, ask forgiveness, and put a remedy.
• The experience of having been taken advantage of, and difficulties in trusting in the goodness of others.

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
(Lk. 6:43-45)


PUBLICATION DATE: 2010-01-12


 
 


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