The Virtues You Want to See in Others

Ink on Pastel Paper – Words: Henry David Thoreau

Be true to your word, which sounds like no big deal until an opportunity arises and the ease of doing this is challenged. It means if you say you are going to do something you do it, not whenever, you get it done as promised. Being true to your word means if you say it you do it. All too often we say things not really meaning them. We want to be part of the conversation or contribute, or even just hear ourselves talk. When what people really want is to be able to trust us to do what we say. When we do not live up to our word eventually people stop believing us, their trust has dissolved and when we talk they no longer listen.

Be true to your work. Stand behind it. If you can’t stand behind it keep working until it gets done right. Doing something with excellence doesn’t always fit within a clock watching mentality, it may take more hours than first estimated or even less. The point is not how long it takes, the point is doing it such that you would stand behind it no matter what happens. Taking pride in a job well done and being confident that your work reflects well on you.

Be true to your friend, even when your mood or theirs is not the best. Support them, love them, spend time with them and let them know how much they mean to you. We call a lot of people friend, when in reality they are merely long term acquaintances. A true friend is someone who knows us and loves us anyway. If you have one true friend in this world you are rich beyond measure. So be that friend they can count on as well.

We don’t often hear people talk about being true. We hear about activities, postings, chats, texting or even email chains, yet few people actually talk about virtues much anymore. Those get lip service. We want honesty, hard work and loyal friends, forgetting that we first have to be those things in order for them to exist in our own lives. Let today be the day you practice the virtues you want to see in others – friends, family, colleagues – so they can see in a tangible way what excellence and truth looks like.

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