Pagan virtues

Courage, not pomp
Photo by Kathleen Conklin

Some weeks ago, Alain de Botton wrote a post proposing “ten virtues for the modern age.”  His virtues are resilience, patience, empathy, sacrifice, politeness, humor, self-awareness, forgiveness, hope, and confidence.  None of those make me want to scream “no!” but they also don’t, as a whole, make me say “yes!” or evoke the kind of world I’d like to live in.  To my ear, they read like a list of ways to increase your ability to cheerfully manage adversity you can’t hope to overcome, and therefore come off as passive.

I also think that the kinds of virtues one might want to put forth say a lot about what kind of world you would like to live in, so I’ve been dreaming up a list of Pagan virtues.  Mine aren’t drawn from my historical understanding of what European pre-Christian culture might have been like, but are grounded in my experience as modern human living in a first-world, super-connected society while deeply valuing my connection with the Earth.

But before I share my list, I’d like to hear from you: what virtues do you find in your tradition or practice?

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