Ethics and Attributes of Heroes

It is fitting as 2016 winds down to consider why we are not identifying more heroes who possess ethics and attributes that are admirable.

They are out there……unsung heroes and heroines who favorably impact human lives. Their stories need to be told so that the vast majority of us can see that the smallest acts of kindness make a difference.

Dr. Scott Allison of the University of Richmond has authored six books about heroes and is my resident expert when we analyze a hero or heroine’s psychological composition; chiefly their ethics and attributes.

While we follow different heroes and heroines, there are a set of common traits that are melded into strong moral compasses housing the ethics component.

The following is a sampling providing us with a roadmap to emulate them:

Gratitude- the late great American anthropologist and hero to many women Ruth Benedict wrote, “A man’s indebtedness is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.” We all have received help in our lives. Let us recommit to gratitude and actively live it.

Thankfulness- the great English writer from the 16th century Daniel Defoe wrote, “All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.” Let us remember what we have each day, not what we could have. That is a powerful blessing and wonderful feeling.

Appreciation- the great Scottish warrior from the 12th/13th century William Wallace said, “Every man dies, not every man truly lives. The greatest freedom is appreciating the absence of English nobles who have no business in Scotland.” Let us each day reflect and appreciate the smallest things we have and live for.

Humility- the great English writer from the 17th century Jane Austen wrote, “Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.” Act humbly each day and remember that we have not yet found a cure for selfish behavior.

Let us live our lives purposefully in the New Year being cognizant of our ethics and attributes.

My friends please remember this: respect, consideration, and courtesy matter a lot. Treat others fairly, decently, and equally.

Build your moral compasses carefully and always monitor them daily.

You know the battle cry: do your best each day. No one can ask more or less from any of us.

All the best/blessings, Mark

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