Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Virtues of a Time

Do you ever feel as if your particular virtues aren't suited for the historical moment you're living in?

All of us, I suspect, have certain things we're good at. Athleticism, courage, cleverness, prudence, etc. And different moments in history demand different virtues. In a time of war, physical prowess and courage will be highly prized. But in other moments in time, they'll be far less important. Some periods call for consideration and thoughtfulness; others call for aggressive action. The bold in one period might be the hot-headed and reckless in another. The prudent in one time could be the quiescent in the next.

Right now, I feel as if my particular virtues aren't well adapted to the times I live in. The things that are most in need right now are traits that I don't feel I especially possess. The things that I'm very good at feel passe and irrelevant.

That's not an indictment of the times. History is not obligated to bend itself to my skill set. But it's an interesting and discomforting feeling nonetheless. Had you asked me a few years ago, and I would have felt quite comfortable about the match between my virtues and what I felt the world demanded of me. Now? Much less so.


Eliana said...

I think your virtues are perfectly suited to the time. We need good writers, researchers, professors, and lawyers now more than ever. You clearly have what it takes to be an amazing writer and researcher, and although I’ve never been your student or client I’m confident you’re an amazing lawyer and professor too. You have what we need now. Keep up the good work

Ed said...

The "honesty" virtue suits all times.