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: 
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
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
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
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: 
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: 
Refusing to quit – Expecting to win

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

Virtue # 9: 
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: 
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: 
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: 
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


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


Latinos Lack National Leadership Voice

On Monday, November 15th 2010, the Pew Hispanic Center released a new report dubbed National Latino Leader? The Job is Open. This essence of this report reveals there is no consensus over a prominent leadership voice representing the Latino community in America today. According to the study, “Latinos were asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider ‘the most important Latino leader in the country today,’ nearly two-thirds (64%) of Latino respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said ‘no one.’” These percentages reveal that 74% of the Latino population is unsure or at least unaware of a national Latino/na leader. The results of those who did provide answers were dismal at best, noting:

7% support for Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
5% thought of Luis Guiterrez, U.S. Representative from Illinois
3% mentioned Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa
– And, 2% voted for news anchor Jorge Ramos of Noticiero Univision

These Latinos have liberal tendencies and occupy “institutional” and “local” offices, which would not appeal to a nationally diverse Latino population. With this said, a few questions must be asked:

It is time for the Latino community to have a national voice speaking for them, much like the African American community has Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and leaders of the National Associations of  the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The recent mid-term elections propelled three potential Latino voices onto the national scene: Senator-elect Marco Rubio Florida; Susan Martinez, Governor from the State of New Mexico; and Brian Sandoval, Governor-elect from the state of Nevada. 

Marco Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and a proven conservative. A question arises whether Mexicans, who make up the majority of Latinos in the United States, can depend upon Rubio to represent their needs in Congress, especially in the area of immigration reform?
Susan Martinez, a conservative as well, and a native born citizen from El Paso, Texas. Could Martinez, as a native born citizen of the United States, appeal to the large Mexican population living in the Southwest region to galvanize a respectable national following with strong feelings against amnesty?
Brian Sandoval, a native born citizen of Northern California, is perhaps too distant from the current diverse makeup of the Latino population, which tends to be more bi-cultural in nature, speaking Spanish as their first language.

These voices will take some time to hold sway among a growing and diverse Latino population.

One individual not mentioned in Pew’s study is Rev. Sammy Rodriquez who presides over the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the largest Hispanic evangelical group in the nation, representing over 40,000 churches and religious entities with representing a population of 19 million adherents. Rev. Rodriquez was recently featured on the cover of October’s edition of Charisma magazine, an evangelical periodical. In my opinion Rev. Rodriquez has more potential than anyone mentioned in Pew’s report, even of  the three newly elected Latinos, to have a national voice. He has met with members of both parties in Congress and participates in White House briefings on social justice, Latino and values issues. As a matter of fact Rev. Rodriquez has been a regular voice on CNN, Fox News and other national media outlets advocating for immigration reform; defending over 12 million undocumented Latinos. As a national voice for immigration reform, he has the best possibility of becoming our nation’s leadership voice for the Hispanic community. Perhaps, Rev. Rodriquez is the best kept secret in the Latino community.

Who do you see as the national voice for the Latino community? And why do they deserve your respect?

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)