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Live a Life of Virtue




During my teaching and coaching years, I was influenced by the model of the 40 Developmental Assets. I included those strategies to improve my interaction with youth. During conversations with other coaches about these Assets, I was introduced and met with Randy Traeger who wrote a book Building Character, One Virtue at a Time. He worked with the coaching staff at Willamette University to instill virtues.


He says that we need to “live a life of virtue.”


He has identified 52 virtues. As I read through the descriptions of each virtue such as faith, hope, generosity, tenacity, love, courage, service, honor, humor and truth, I can feel this sense of character that I want to have and believe others should also be inspired to seek. Until I read thankfulness.


It was not the description that caught my eye, but instead the calm that captivated my soul. As I thought about being thankful, I realized it was more than just a part of my character, like the other virtues. Instead drew me into this sense of awe about what I have.


Thankfulness became my most important virtue. The virtue of my soul.


When I focus on being thankful, I have a calm soul. It settles me down in a world that is buzzing around me fast and furious. My focus changes. Thankfulness becomes more than a character building quality. It becomes my calm.


I think about words that describe that “thankfulness calm” and note that they are both secular and spiritual in their meaning.


I become humble

I am content with what I have

I see my world as good

I smile in the current moment

I know who loves me and who I love

I look for the small things that matter

I focus on others

I slow down


There are many powerful scriptures, quotes, stories and explanations inspiring us about the importance of being thankful. All are good.


Being thankful is what I seek today.

-Eric Lider


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