The Top 12 Virtues for Teens


“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have [virtue] because we have acted rightly.”–Aristotle

Virtue is one of those words you and I don’t hear very often in the mainstream vocabulary. Virtue is basically conforming one’s life and conduct to moral or ethical principles. Moreover, virtue means moral excellence, uprightness and goodness.[1] Virtuous people are known for their conduct, character, and life of integrity. A virtuous person seeks after the highest moral qualities to live his or her life by. This is also true about “history makers.” Would you like to be a world changer? If so, what does it take to make a big impact in this world? The first step is to acquire virtue.

The Primary Virtue: Love
Overlooking the faults of others and building influence

“When love is our highest priority we foster respect in our relationships and honoring becomes a way of life.”
Cathy D. Polyak, 2ndGrade Teacher – Las Vegas, Nevada


Virtue #2: 
Honesty
The ultimate character test

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence,
American Founding Father, and the 3rdPresident of the United States


3rd Virtue
Purity
Staying “green” in a polluted world

“Our culture desires intimacy without responsibility and pleasure without commitment.”
Kris Vallotton, Author of the book Purity


The 4th Virtue
:
Discipline
Staying on task – while achieving your goals

“Self-discipline is that which truly and essentially raises one man above another.”
Joseph Addison (1672–1719) Politician and Magazine Founder


The 5th Virtue
Money Management
Mastering money so it doesn’t master you

“Wealth may be an excellent thing, for it means power, and it means leisure, it means liberty.”
James Russell Lowell (1819 -1891) – American Poet, Editor and Diplomat


The 6th Virtue
Generosity
The sign of a satisfied heart

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


Virtue #7: 
Courage
Standing strong in the midst of fear and doubt

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”
George S. Patton – Four Star General, World War II


The 8th Virtue: 
Perseverance
Refusing to quit – Expecting to win

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
Charles H. Spurgeon, famous 19thCentury Baptist Preacher


Virtue # 9: 
Introspection
Finding self through silence and solitude

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”
Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) – Author, A Raisin in the Sun


The 10th Virtue: 
Wisdom
Navigating successfully through life and social situations

“Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom.”
King Solomon – The Wisest Man of All Time


The 11th Virtue: 
Foresight
Perceiving and interpreting the immediate future for sound decision-making

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
Yogi Berra – Played for the New York Yankees & Hall of Fame Baseball Player


The 12th Virtue: 
Magnanimity
The King of all virtues: self-mastery

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) – Leader of Freedom

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Is there another virtue you wish to add and elaborate on?


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Life Coaching for Teens


Life Coaching for Teens, a workbook covering three crucial areas vital for Latino teen success, was inspired when I witnessed first hand the need for mentoring and life coaching among a fast growing Hispanic population in the Las Vegas community.

First and foremost, teens need to build a healthy self image, which builds confidence.

1. Building Confidence

The first section introduces students to foundational principles and concepts of identity, significance and life purpose. These areas are critical for helping students know “who” they are, and “why” they exist. A person’s “self-worth” is tied to their identity. Without a clear identity, life purpose is much more difficult to comprehend.

2. Developing Character

The middle section introduces students to the Top 12 Virtues for Teens, which are crucial for building character. These virtues are:

1. Love: Overlooking the faults of others and building influence

2. Honesty: The ultimate character test

3. Purity: Staying “green” in a polluted world

4. Discipline: Staying on task – achieving your goals

5. Money Management: Mastering money so it doesn’t master you

6. Generosity: The sign of a satisfied heart

7. Courage: Standing strong in the midst of fear and doubt

8. Perseverance: Refusing to quit – Expecting to win!

9. Introspection: Finding self through silence and solitude

10. Wisdom: Navigating successfully through life and social situations

11. Foresight: Perceiving and interpreting the immediate future for sound decision-making

12. Magnanimity: The King of all virtues: self-mastery

3. Living Courageously

The final section encourages students’ to discover their innate gifts, and their passion. Finding one’s innate gifts are easy, there are many online tests to measure your temperaments and personal gifts. Passion is much more difficult to pinpoint but when someone finds it, they are naturally empowered. The section takes students through a series of questions that probe and pinpoint their passion. Once passion is discovered, a teen can then formulate a 5-year life plan to help them move forward courageously. Courage, therefore, plays a critical role at this point. Cultivating and expressing courage throughout life is necessary to achieve great results and become a lifetime winner.

What do you think, are these virtues relevant for today’s youth? (Post your thoughts below)

(The Top 12 Virtues for Teens, copyright (2009) Latino Townhall – all rights reserved)

Character Intelligence


Part II of a Four Part Series:

Character is pursuing and developing moral excellence, which leads to self-mastery. Character is a word, which conveys the process of engraving or chiseling and giving a new form to raw material. For instance, skilled workers using the hammer and chisel crafted ancient statues very methodically and patiently; shaping some of the most renowned pieces of art we admire today. Within time an onlooker could see a face or an image emerge from the granite rock. This process is also happens with people. During our childhood we are similar to that marble slab, which over time, through discipline, the right choices and actions, and self-correction a new character emerges in one’s life.

A great example of character comes from one of our Founding Fathers, George Washington. At the young age of sixteen he wrote down a list of life principles to govern his conduct. It is known today as Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, and it consists of 110 principles of conduct he determined to live his life by that ultimately shaped his character. Here’s a sample with my interpretation in brackets:{1}

  1. Rule #50 – Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any. [Don’t believe dirty gossip about someone without first finding the facts yourself before making a judgment.]

  2. Rule #82 – Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise. [The first part means don’t commit to something you cannot handle.]

  3. Rule #101 – Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others. [Don’t spit in front of people.]

So how is character formed? Good and virtuous character is formed by seeking out truth and the highest principles of conduct, and through determined life application and self-correction a person begins to distinguish his or herself from others.

Do you see sixteen-year old young men and women today who think and act like this? I haven’t found one yet. We must ask this question:

Why did George Washington become the most prominent figure in American history? Was it because he took the time to mold his character into one of preeminence, which brought him to a place of prominence?

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Washington, George (1989) George Washington’s Rules of Civilty & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Little Books of Wisdom: Applewood Books: Medford, MA.