The Teenager Today – August 2019

(Barré) #1
Ian Pinto, SDB, is a poet and writer with an anthology
of poems, Pen Downs (2018), and numerous articles in
newspapers, magazines and journals to his credit. he currently
teaches at Don Bosco Agricultural School, Sulcorna, goa.

Value becomes virtue not
simply when it reflects in
the ordinary behaviour of a
person but when it enters
into his/her mind and heart,
that is, into one’s very being
and forms part and parcel
of who one is, namely one’s
character. Values thus, are
closely related to what one
does while virtue is related to
who one is.

The ugliness of vice

A close relation of virtue is vice.
Plainly said, vice is the absence of
virtue. Vice is what happens when
there is no virtue. Vice, similar to
virtue, is not something that one
does once in a way. It comes about
when one repeatedly performs wrong
actions. Going back to the shepherd,
it would be quite harsh to say that
lying was his vice since the story tells
us that he decided that day to play a
prank. But suppose the story were to
say that the shepherd was known for
telling lies; then it is a clear sign that
he has fallen a prey to vice.

Very often, the term vice is
associated with major immoral
issues like drinking inordinate
amounts of alcohol, gambling,
smoking, stealing, taking drugs, etc.
What is often forgotten is that even
something seemingly insignificant
like telling lies, no matter how
small, is equally a vice. A student

who either cheats on his/her own
exams or helps someone else cheat
is trapped by vice no less than a
criminal who steals crores of rupees
from a bank.

I think we are all well aware of
that witty saying: “If wealth is lost,
nothing is lost. If health is lost,
something is lost. But if character
is lost, all is lost.” I think we need
to be aware of the fact that it is who
we are that is of greater importance
than what we do. We could be the
most studious person in the class
but if we have the vice of pride,
then people will not be with us, and
would not like to make friends with
us. Similarly, we might come across
a person who does the most menial
of jobs but yet makes a difference to
the lives of people. This person has
clearly embraced virtue. Virtue has
the tendency of glowing and showing
itself. One need not tell others and
make a big show about it. It becomes
visible when one speaks and behaves.
Free download pdf