My beliefs are not what you would consider typical from the average nineteen year old college freshman. But while my peers are sleeping off their hangovers from the night before, I am in Philosophy class going over readings from Aristotle. I not only believe in, but I aspire to a world of virtues. Liberality, Friendship, Temperance, Justice, Ready Wit, Courage. These applications of practical wisdom are the makings of a great person. In a time and place that regards relativism as truth, I think back to Aristotle and his teachings. How, then, did this ancient man write such applicable works so far from our time and culture? Goodwill for others is not relative; nor is justice. Even in the most primitive of societies and times, justice consistently seems to be a goal of the community. Did Aristotle read my teenage journal when he wrote his chapters on friendship? Did he have me in mind? His descriptions of virtuous friendships fit to a tee the relationships I have with my best friends. Unfortunately, he says that the amount of these types of friendships you can have are limited, and I have found that he is right. If you can count great friends on one hand, you are lucky. Looking at the news, following politics, and world crises such as Darfur, I wish that everyone would take a course on Aristotle. If these virtues could be even partially imparted on some of the politicians and world leaders today, the world would be a much better place. But his teachings are hopeful. Each human life is a journey in constant progress and virtuous lives can only be attained by constant practice. I believe in a conscience effort to practice the virtues, and I can only hope that by leading through humble example we can all help to give our world a brighter future.
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