The First of the Nine Virtues is Honesty. To be Honest is to be straightforward in one’s dealings, to tell the truth and abide by one’s word.
Honesty allows people to trust one another, and makes it easier to deal
with one another.
However like all qualities, Honesty exists in a continuum in which both
too little and too much are Bad. The person who has too little Honesty is
deceptive, untruthful, and crooked in their dealings. The person who
has too much Honesty can be inconsiderate or hurtful to other through
extreme candor or through indiscretion, or through repeating what
though true should have been confidential.
The Second Virtue is Generosity, whether generosity of act, thought, or
feeling. Generosity allows movement and encourages growth – both in
the world about the generous person, and also within them. Generosity
of action makes for generosity of spirit, and so the generous help themselves as well as others through their Generosity. Generosity can be expressed through sharing -whether sharing resources, ideas, or emotions.But Generosity can also be expressed through allowing – allowing freedom of action, thought, etc. Another way to describe Generosity is Freedom.The person who has too little Generosity is miserly in thought and action, and has too little movement in their heart. The person who has too
much Generosity however is profligate, giving everything away and finding themselves with nothing left to share.
The Third Virtue is Sincerity, or being true to yourself and truly embodying what you believe. Sincerity is walking the walk as well as talking the talk, both internally and externally. The sincere person is at pains to make sure that their internal self and their external self are in alignment. Another way to describe Sincerity is Integrity.
The person who has too little Sincerity hides their true self, often even from themselves. They are alienated from their true nature and their true motivations, and may not understand the reasons why they do things. The person who has too much Sincerity however may be so highly aware of their own nature as to be unable to consider other people or external conditions, falling into hubris and placing their own ideas and ideals above all other things.
The Fourth Virtue is Courage, or the ability to meet and overcome challenges. Courage is what allows us to go forward in the world, even when we are afraid. Courage permits us to grow and to accomplish. Courage allows us to see that perceived barriers can be overcome, perceived limitations transcended.The person who has too little Courage is cowardly – that is, they are ruled by their fear and imprisoned by it. The person who has too much Courage is foolhardy, disregarding reasonable fears and failing to properly consider or prepare for actual dangers.
The Fifth Virtue is Service, the desire to help others and to create better
situations in the world around one. Being of Service is a willingness to pitch in and improve circumstances and better situations. By helping others and improving their world, we often find that we improve our own world as well. If Courage allows the individual to move forward, Service allows the group to move forward. The person who has too little sense of Service never extends themselves for others or concerns themselves with the wider world, allowing bad situations that they might have been able to improve to instead worsen. The person who has too much sense of Service however may give so much of themselves that they find themselves enslaved to others needs, neglecting their own.
The Sixth Virtue is Practicality, or considering the outcome of one’s actions and acting accordingly. Practicality allows us to use knowledge or past experience or to judge how best to create favorable outcomes to our actions, as well as to foresee unfortunate consequences and avoid them. Practicality allows us to spare ourselves and others much pain by applying to present or future circumstances the wisdom we have gained from lessons already learned.
The person who has too little Practicality does not consider the consequences of their outcomes and so frequently experiences bad outcomes and often repeats unpleasant situations. The person who has too much Practicality however can be imprisoned by expectation, never being willing to take a chance, make a change, or venture into uncharted territory.
The Seventh Virtue is Modesty, which is to allow room for the recognition of other people and their skills and achievements, rather than promoting your own character, skills, and achievements to the detriment of others. Modesty manifests as moderation in self-estimation and self promotion, an avoidance of egotism and braggadocio. The modest individual, being confident of their knowledge and abilities does not need to brag about themselves, and still less needs to denigrate others, but rather shows their worth through competence.
The person who has too little Modesty is arrogant and focused only upon themselves and their own accomplishments. The person who has too much Modesty is self-negating, not valuing themselves or their actions, and as a result denying the world what they have to offer.
The Eighth Virtue is Compassion, or understanding and sympathy for others. Through Compassion we not only help others, but grow emotionally ourselves. Through Compassion we gain understanding of others’ needs, and increase our own understanding of others and their situations, allowing us greater insight into our own inner nature and outer situations. Acts motivated by Compassion build a better world both improving the lot of others, and often by stabilizing difficult situations
which might otherwise grow worse, affecting all around them.
The person who has too little Compassion has no understanding of others and consequently can be hard-hearted and may be cruel. The person who has too much Compassion, however, may find themselves enabling the bad behavior or abusive actions of others by being too understanding of these.
The Ninth and final Virtue is Piety, by which we mean Right Relationship.
Piety is the respect and consideration appropriate to any relationship. In
religious terms Piety is the respect and devotion of the person toward
their Patron Deity, or toward the ideals of their faith. Filial Piety is the
respect and devotion of children toward parents, and in a wider sense of
persons toward their families – whether family by blood or by choice.
One can also have a pious attitude toward education, career, law, etc. …
In short, Piety refers toward the social bonds on which society is built.
The person who has too little Piety has respect for nothing, and destroys
all they touch through not caring about the consequences to personal
and societal relationships. The person who has too much Piety can turn
personal and societal relationships into rigid and fossilized forms, ultimately destroying them by preventing any sort of growth, change, or adaptation.