April 2017—–Discovering Virtuous Character Strengths

Continuing with the previous blog from January of this year, we are examining various virtues to work toward strengthening these in our own daily lives. For this quarter, we look at the character traits of Acceptance, Humility, and Hope.

April-  Acceptance:  “the action of consenting to or to  receive or undertake something offered”;  the process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group”.  Synonyms:  favorable reception, adoption, welcome, toleration.  Quote:  “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow- this is a human offering that can border on miraculous”.-  Elizabeth Gilbert

Maybe we can consider how we can be more accepting of others during this month by asking ourselves, “Do I accept others unconditionally and without regard to their race, gender, sexual orientation, educational level, political leaning, etc?” If not, why might this be? Let us consider the book of Romans from the Bible which states, “For God shows no partiality”. (Romans 2:11)

May–  Humility:  “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness”.-  Synonyms:  modesty, meekness, diffidence.  Quote:  “Speak as little as possible of oneself; mind one’s own business; not wanting to manage other people’s affairs.”-  Mother Theresa. Again from the Bible, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look….to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

June–  Hope:  “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”;  “a feeling of trust”.  Synonyms:  desire, wish, expectation, aspiration.

Quote:  “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And, hope does not put us to shame…”-  Romans 5:3-5

I believe hope to be one of the most powerful of all human attitudes/emotions. One definition I found was “an attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world”. (Wikipedia). But, what about when things aren’t going so well and we feel discouraged, hopeless, or alone? How do we advance or push forward from hopeless to hopeful? There may not be a simple solution to this problem, but I do believe that hope can be found when we reach out to others for help for ourselves, step up to help others in need, focus on having a positive attitude, and count our blessings instead of our disappointments.

Thank you for reading my spring blog…I hope this finds you feeling accepting, humble, and hopeful.

Linda Mesing Cook