The cardinal virtue of fortitude enables us to face the difficulties in life. The living of this virtue begins early in life and often takes place in small, unseen activities. More specifically, it starts by cultivating industriousness or diligence. In sum: “Finish what you have started.”
Children need adults to assist them in carefully living this virtue primarily because their efforts to complete a task from start to finish need to be seen, not for praise but for feedback. Feedback tells the child that they matter and that their efforts reflect their intention to do a job well done. Of course, it is impossible to see every task, but with the help of an adult’s feedback, this virtue will become a strength in the child’s character over time.
We all want reliable, responsible, diligent, industrious people working with and for us. Therefore, I encourage you to take a moment and recognize these people in your midst. So often, they are unseen pillars in the school, office, community, and home. For example, when was the last time you acknowledged the students who completed all of their classwork and homework well and on time? Or the last time you thanked an employee for finishing their tasks without being reminded?
May we all open our eyes this week to those who live this virtue, and acknowledge their efforts. And if you are a person who can’t seem to finish a task, I encourage you to strive to complete one task this week. With God’s grace, the virtue of industriousness can develop in you and help you to finish what you start.