Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Virtue...

Second Principle:
"A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong."

The first time I heard the words, PUBLIC VIRTUE, I was attending my first Face to Face with Greatness seminar in California. It was February of 2006.My husband was asking for us to return to New Orleans since the power was finally restored to the home. I held off returning just so I could attend this seminar.

Public Virtue is the force that changes society. If it wasn't for public virtue, I imagine our Founding Father's would have lost the Revolutionary War.

In the Britannica Online enyclopedia there is the following quote by Montesquieu.

"...a necessary condition for the existence of a republican government, whether democratic or aristocratic, is that the people in whom supreme power is lodged possess the quality of “public virtue,” meaning that they are motivated by a desire to achieve the public good...."

I believe public virtue is the willingness to give up all my possessions and even my life for a greater cause which will affect my community and my nation. This reminds me of the covenants I have made as a disciple of Jesus.

Robert Morris understood this virtue as did many of the founding generation. Today we don't even hear the words. Yet, Morris was probably one of the wealthiest men in America at the time. It was because of his voluntary giving of all he had and all that he borrowed to George Washington that the battle of Trenton was won. People would not loan to the Continental Congress but they would loan to Robert Morris. After the war he and his family were destitute. He spent time in debtors prison because of his understanding of the power of public virtue.

Where is my public virtue?

Am I only 20 percent willing or 100 percent willing to give for my country? Freedom is not free; someone has to sacrifice. Every generation has a challenge to face. What is our challenge? And who will be taught the keys of freedom in order to lead and influence effectively and righteously? How about morally?

I'm going to sacrifice my free time. Time that I might watch a movie and just do nothing, so that I can learn, teach myself, and be ready to help, to lead, or mentor someone else who will have to fight for freedom, liberty, and God's law.

Benjamin Franklin said: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

Public Virtue...did you get your cups worth today?


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