The great Sufi poet, Jalal ad-Din Rumi said, “Virtue cannot exist without temptation and difficulties to be overcome”. What then is virtue? According to Wikipedia, “A virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being”.
According to Plato, “Virtue is the excellence of the soul.” Generosity, Clarity, Beauty, Justice, Patience, Humility, Kindness, Honesty, Service, Goodness… doesn’t the very mention of these words light us up? Perhaps it is because, deep within, we can relate to virtues as something we deeply identify with. Let us not ignore this fact. Howsoever we might be caught in our daily struggles, virtues are something we naturally feel connected to. Virtues are our musical instrument to sing the song of life. Virtues are our vehicle, virtues are our teacher, virtues are the very essence of who we are!
So then, Rumi in his words seems to be inviting us to smile at the temptations and the difficulties that hold us from bringing the virtues into practice. This issue celebrates the virtues in us, our true identity which is in a battle against the forces of temptations and the difficulties. This is the philosopher’s battle. This is a battle which must be won.
The Clarion Call
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