When we break down the word “encouragement” we find the word “courage” in it.
Encouraging others means planting the seed of courage in their lives.
We can experience this by giving esteem. Encouraging esteem can have the form of a heartening smile as well as comforting words.
Esteem creates the feeling of being supported – by being accepted.
Giving esteem always means giving attention.
Continue reading Esteem always encourages
Today is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
This day gives esteem to all the men and women serving in the United Nations peacekeeping operations for “their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage”.
Everybody who’s ever tried to make peace between people with contrary believes and opinions knows how difficult and delicate this task is.
Peacekeepers deserve esteem for their work. They prepare the way among people for peace through mutual esteem.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award ALMA is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young people’s literature. It was created by the Swedish government after Lindgren’s death in 2002.
Astrid Lindgren was a known Swedish author of books for children. Her novel “Pippi Longstocking” tells the story of a strong-willed girl with braided hair, freckles and mismatched stockings. Pippi has captivated generations of children around the world.
Growing up in Switzerland I was a big fan of all the stories and TV films about Pippi Longstocking’s adventures.
This year the ALMA was given to the Tamer Institute, a Palestinian group which for two decades has stimulated children’s love of reading.
According to the Swedish award group this public esteem for the Tamer Institute was given “in the spirit of Astrid Lindgren acknowledging the strength of books, stories and imagination as important keys to self-esteem, tolerance and the courage to face life”.
The Tamer Institute’s esteem toward children’s literature now receives its own public esteem. The award will be presented on June 2, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Esteem is closely connected to the classic four cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and moderation. The cardinal virtues aren’t out of fashion, they’re still important for a life full of esteem and respect for the fellow men.
Wisdom is more than knowledge, it’s more than accumulating know-how. Wisdom is life experience making us patient and understanding – just like esteem does.
Greek philosopher Plato explained wisdom as “we know that we don’t know” meaning that there is no safe knowledge which we could defend. When we live esteem toward others we feel the truth of this virtue. Esteem prevents us from being self-opinionated.
On the other hand wisdom is explained as choosing the middle between two extremes creating harmony and peace.
In any case the virtue of wisdom helps us to make just and reasonable decisions because we show understanding for people and life situations. The more we live esteem in our life the more we can integrate wisdom.
Justice, the second of the four cardinal virtues is another important foundation for humane society. When we encounter injustice we discover that it diminishes our happiness and motivation to be fair ourselves.
Continue reading Esteem and the four cardinal virtues
Moderation can easily be misunderstood as self-control in the meaning of suppressing emotions or abstention. But moderation as a virtue means not being dominated by emotions expressed in the form of excess.
When we live esteem in our life we develop the virtue of moderation more easily because we already live patience and understanding. Moderation goes strongly together with these two attitudes.
We also see moderation when people are not interrupting others because it’s more important to them to give esteem toward others than to insist on own opinions.
Moderation as forth virtue works together with the other three such as wisdom, justice and courage mutually encouraging and developing.
Courage as a virtue doesn’t mean fearlessness or daredevilry. The approach to the virtue of courage is more subtle than that.
Genuine courage knows fear but can beyond it. Courage is the ability to stay open and vulnerable while living an esteemful life. Being courageous can mean:
- making the first step toward reconciliation
- striving against the stream
- standing by our opinion
- admitting our deficiencies
- making essential decisions.
Courage is an attitude which helps us in difficult life situations. We need courage for important life decisions and for maintaining our integrity.
As one of the four cardinal virtues, courage is also inseparable from the other virtues. When we dedicate our life to esteem we have the wisdom of justice in our life and the courage to realize it through esteem.
Western culture is acquainted with the four cardinal virtues. These cardinal virtues – wisdom, justice, courage and moderation originate in ancient philosophy. The general explanation for virtues says that they are inner attitudes of doing good with joy.
Virtues will remain just theory as long as we don’t integrate them into our lives and make them a habit. In coming posts we’ll discuss the connection of esteem to each of these four cardinal virtues.
Virtues work like a mirror. We see in each of these four mirrors our life and our attitudes. Rather than discussing virtues theoretically and philosophically by creating the picture of a perfect life we’ll try to find practical ideas for realizing esteem through virtues in our daily life as life is imperfect and fragile.