What Do You Consider To Be The Most Overrated Virtue?

JustSixties JustSixties 323 posts

After my 3rd external"business function" in as many weeks……….I’ve started to wonder if “virtues” or rather how western society rewards certain behaviour over others is becoming a problem.

I used to think it was honesty that was the most important or admiral virtue but I am starting to wonder if maybe kindness is more important.

I am becoming very tired of people who claim that they are “just being honest” when they say unkind or indiscreet statements. Is honesty being used too often as a weapon against good manners? I think honesty is a virtue that must be carefully considered and weighed before it is expressed aloud or publically.

Here are some virtues that I’ve been thinking about lately….. Especially in regards to how our society has somehow changed their original meanings from something that is meant to be good to something that has an entirely different meaning.

1. Patriotism
2. Extroversion
3. Creativity
4. Compassion
5. Faithfulness
6. Morality
7. Resilience
8. Generosity

This all came about because I witnessed an exchange between several people who were “discussing” the merits of creativity, specifically the creativity of an individual who was daring to branch out into a genre that was different. All participants in the discussion cited “honesty” as their reason for dishing out and it seemed to me that they were hiding behind this tag more than actually offering anything substantial to their argument. The art of diplomacy was nowhere to be seen and in many ways……it was almost as being diplomatic was seen as a weakness.

The end result…..a very disillusioned young man who probably needed encouragment more than honesty, and a group of smug “I’m only being honest” critics. I sometimes wonder if our virtues are more vices than redeemable traits.

What do others think……….do we hide behind virtues or do we use them as they were intended?

Lee Wilde Lee Wilde 1361 posts

You left “Patience” off your list.

“Patience is a virtue”…..give me a huge break. Who put that one around? Optus?

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 77 posts

forgiveness….sorry not most over rated, probably most under rated (I’ll have to think again)

chasingsooz chasingsooz 1526 posts

I hate the “I’m just being honest crowd” … it smacks of putting someone else down to make yourself feel good.

Personally I think kindness is the most important virtue. If we have kindness then all the other good things follow … generosity .. respect .. love .. faithfulness … patience … honesty …

I also think we can live an honest life without having to tell the honest truth.

If I ask “Does my butt look big in this?” I am not asking for an honest answer, I am seeking a different truth.

In comparison to an elephant .. my butt does not look that big :-)

Ginger  Barritt Ginger Barritt 735 posts

Like most questions of this sort, don’t you think it depends on the situation? There are people who are kind to a fault…to the point where you are enabling…..or as you mentioned those who are “honest to a fault”…..But I agree with Sooz…and another statement you used …..using honesty as a weapon….makes some people feel superior, I guess..

chasingsooz chasingsooz 1526 posts

OOh Ginger .. enabling adds in a whole different dimension to kindness and brings in the phrase “sometimes you’ve got to be cruel to be kind” .

It is still kindess not giving an alcohol to an alocoholic but like honesty – the value of the virtue is all in how you use it.

honesty as a weapon? … Now I think that is a razor sharp sword I’d hate to use.

inexistentia inexistentia 1876 posts

“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.” – Bernard Berenson

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

I really agree with patriotism being at the top of your list. I think it can be very dangerous.

I also HATE it when someone calls me creative. Well duh, that’s a cop out. Give me feedback on what I’ve created please and thank you!

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

honesty as a weapon? … Now I think that is a razor sharp sword I’d hate to use.

I hate to say it, but I’ve been that person. I’m not proud of it, but luckily it was a long time ago now and I’ve definitely learnt from that experience.

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1673 posts

you know reading this I can only think of under rated virtues not over rated ones! Though I think Shaun’s offering of consistency is quite a good one

Ginger  Barritt Ginger Barritt 735 posts

Natalie! I have learned so much from you all on how not to comment!!! LOL…actually I appreciate the knowledge…it has made me think….

heist heist 423 posts

confidence

to be confident leads us to complacency, stunts our growth

inexistentia inexistentia 1876 posts

Ahh I’ve occasionally hurt friends by being brutally honest too. As a result, restraint is a virtue I hold in pretty high regard these days :p

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

Natalie! I have learned so much from you all on how not to comment!!!

On other people’s work you mean? Well I’m glad :D
It’s not a personal slight on anyone who says it, in fact if anyone does say it to me I’m quick to prompt them for a deeper critique!

heist heist 423 posts

kindness

renders our judgement paralysed and useless

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1673 posts

didn’t restraint make an appearance somewhere else, in another discussion?

Ginger  Barritt Ginger Barritt 735 posts

Yes, Natalie….I did not go to any type of an art school, so it has been a really wonderful if frustrating learning experience in learning what you all want to hear….In other words it is very rare for me to comment…Great Shot……or Great Capture…!!!

chasingsooz chasingsooz 1526 posts

kindness
renders our judgement paralysed and useless

Oh Heist that makes me feel so sad.

Ginger  Barritt Ginger Barritt 735 posts

Heist, I will never believe that kindness, true kindness renders us useless.

heist heist 423 posts

kindness and confidence are my favourite virtues… i was just trying to illustrate that you can find the bad side in anything if you try :)

chasingsooz chasingsooz 1526 posts

phew Heist … you had me worried. :-)

JustSixties JustSixties 323 posts

I think Kindness is under-used when it comes to virtues. Maybe it is a by-product of our society? I catch a train to work each day and I witness the absence of kindness on a daily basis. Sometimes it is a simple act……..sometimes it is more but I have noticed that people seem less kind.

Is it because we are so busy and stressed with our lives that we forget such a simple act?

This blew me away the other day……….I noticed a blind lady on the train platform. She was obviously in the right place, she had worked out which platfrom to use and she was doing the right thing. Connex changed the train timetable and she was left standing with her dog on the wrong platform. She is a regular (as are most of my fellow passengers on this particular line) but not one of them offered to assist her. I was already on the train when I noticed she was still standing on the platform. I jumped off and led her back to the train. Everyone looked and smiled………but no one else offered to help.

Yeah……….I know. But to me…..that little act of compassion or even kindness if you want to call it that meant a lot. I didn’t know her, but I was concerned and my own sense of compassion kicked in.

We are too busy with our lives that we sometimes forget that even little things can make a difference.

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1673 posts

You are talking about a kind of public kindness, like being courteous or polite….I have just discussed kindness with my daughter and we have a different angle.

We are in the position where a lot of people want to be kind to us and yet the people we find most kind are the ones who are leaving us alone – it is kinder to us that they do. So is kindness the thing people do or is it the thing we receive?

Natalie Perkins Natalie Perkins 1896 posts

I like killing mean people with kindness.
Is that evil?

JustSixties JustSixties 323 posts

I think kindness is knowing when to act and when to leave it alone. Obviously, there are times when it is not needed. Public kindness is a risk…..yes, I know. But kindness in general isn’t and sometimes I think our society needs more of it.