A person’s virtue is a positive characteristic or trait that is considered morally acceptable amongst society. Virtues were derived from the religious teachings of the faith of Sikhism in the 15th century. Under this religion, the Sikh Gurus taught that there were five virtues you must live by if you want to be reunited with God in the afterlife. These virtues are truth, compassion, contentment, humility and love.

Religion has an interesting way of getting people to become better civilized human beings. It uses the fear of not being liked by God in order to get people to change their ways. Now, this is not a debate as to whether you believe in the existence of God. In our modern day culture, the belief in god is diminishing amongst people.

With science and logical thinking coming to light, the theories about God don’t seem to have much influence on people anymore. So, does that mean you should not abide by the virtues of truth, compassion, contentment, humility and love? Of course you should.

If everyone had virtues like these, then the world would be a happier and better place. There wouldn’t be wars between countries or violent acts against other human beings. There would be peace and love in the world.

The virtue of truth means that you should always be honest with people and tell the truth. It seems that as time went on, civilized people started telling more lies to each other. Some of this has to do with the increased intelligence and imagination of people. When you talk to children, they are usually pretty sincere about their feelings and thoughts. They don’t tend to hold back any of their thoughts or feelings like adults do. That is because adults have more developed minds which let them be imaginative enough to create lies that are believable.

Not only that, but people’s ethics are slowly slipping away in society altogether. People forgot that lies hurt others and it only postpones an inevitable negative outcome. If you are a truthful person then you will gain respect from your peers and will never have to feel bad from holding true feelings inside of you. Many people pay thousands of dollars in therapy because they cannot be honest with anyone else except for a psychiatrist. If these people only told the truth to their close friends and family then they wouldn’t even need therapy. There is an old saying, “The truth shall set you free.” This statement is saying that if you tell the truth, you will free yourself of the burden of lying, which makes you feel bad. There may be situations where you feel like you should lie, but don’t do it. The truth always has a way of coming to light. People need to remember this virtue because the truth has a way of working things out for the best.

Human compassion is the only way we can help one another as a species. The ability to have sympathy for others that are suffering is a unique virtue to possess. Without human compassion, there would be more people suffering with only a small percentage that are more fortunate. Does this sound familiar?

Take a look at how the American economy collapsed. The upper class corporate leaders laid off thousands of their workers, while giving themselves huge bonus checks at the end of the year. Even now, when people are looking for work, the employers don’t want to hire anybody full time because they don’t want to pay benefits.

Not only that, when people are hired on part time, they are forced to do more work for less pay. They may even have to work “extra” hours on their part time shift, which means it would feel like a full time job instead. Employers have no compassion for their workers and they only think about the profits of the company. Money has replaced human compassion and that is why there is so much suffering in the world right now. If the government and financial leaders of this world would remember the simple virtue of compassion, perhaps people would be happier in their lives.

People these days are so worried about petty issues that it makes them unhappy in their lives. It is clear that these kinds of people do not have any virtuous contentment with themselves. The virtue of contentment is when you have calm sense of satisfaction with your life. If you have food, shelter, friends and a job, what reason would you have to be unsatisfied with your life?

A lot of people in third world countries only dream of having those things that you take for granted. You need to think about that the next time you feel like your life is horrible. You should stop thinking only about other people who have it better and think about the ones who have it worse than you.

Chances are there’re a lot more people who do have it worse than you. Contentment is an important virtue because it lets you make peace with yourself and it eliminates negative feelings, like jealousy towards others. Without a peace of mind, you will be miserable in everything you do. It is amazing how many people are unhappy in this world because they lack contentment. You can try therapy to help build your contentment, but pills won’t give you this. You have to discover it for yourself by brainstorming about what you want in your life and realizing the good things instead of the bad.

Humility is a unique virtue to have. However many think of it as a vice. This is mainly because humility can feel the worst out of all the other virtues, especially in this day and age.

People now are so egotistical that they dread the idea of embarrassment or being in a situation that causes them humiliation. People like to appear superior and smarter than everybody else. If they don’t they’ll end up feeling depressed and angry with themselves over it. Some people may even commit suicide over being humiliated.

So, why is this considered a virtue?

It has to do with stopping people from being arrogant with other people. Not everybody has the same chances and opportunities in life, so if you show arrogance, then you make others feel bad.

When you have humility, you accept your faults and give credit to others. It is this humble attitude that will gain you respect and it may very well make you respect yourself more. After all, people who cannot accept their faults will drive themselves crazy when they do make mistakes.

If you experience a lot of humility in your life then try to learn from it. Don’t let each instance make you angry. Instead, let it be a lesson learned for what to do in the future. Sometimes, a painful virtue like this can be the most self rewarding.

We all understand the meaning of love. But in the world today, we seem to have distanced ourselves from this important virtue. Love comes in two forms – the love for others, and the love for yourself. The love for others may be expressed in the form of respect, sacrifice as well as protecting someone from harm. The world we live in has been overrun by the concept of greed and self-preservation. We act in a way as if people owe us a living; we seek to maximize our own gains at the demise of others with acts of cheating, bullying, or even inflicting pain on others verbally or physically to get what we want. This isn’t right. We have to put others before ourselves and treat them like family; this is how we demonstrate our love for others.

Loving yourself means protecting yourself and abstaining from habits which self-inflict harm. Hardcore drugs, smoking and obsessive gambling are vices which some of us indulge in. We must refrain from these activities that harm our physical and mental well-being. Going for fitness courses and having a hobby are better alternatives that elevate your mental and physical state. Also, you must learn to give yourself some sort of leeway in your daily life. Don’t pressure yourself too much; give yourself some room to breathe! The Dalai Lama once said “If you can, help others, if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.” Imprint this deep within your mind because this is what love should mean.

These 5 virtues are what make us special in this globalized world of this time of the century. We should not lose sight of what makes us human at the end of the day.

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