Virtuous Person Virtuous Citizen
- Maria Sizemore
- I have a friend who lives in the country where I grew up that life’s poverty and conflict-ridden. The place is mainly characterized by high unemployment, violence, and general economic and social crisis. The friend is working, but the amount of money she makes cannot support her family, and this is not because they have a bad job, but because even the money they make cannot sustain them to have a decent life. This is because the country’s economy is often destroyed by hyperinflation. At one point, the friend was pregnant, and after visiting a doctor, she was told that she would give birth to a child with special needs. This added a burden to her life. However, later, she got a job opportunity after giving birth, and the child was five years old. Though the friend understood that she would not see her child as often as she would want, she chose to take the job. Virtuous Person Virtuous Citizen
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The best virtues that should be shown in this context are the strength of character, courage, resilience, and generosity. The friend must show these virtues because she must do what it takes to ensure that she creates a better environment for her child and family. The strength of character is vital in facing challenges and doing what it takes to achieve the desired goals. Courage comes in traveling to a foreign country alone, which involves risk-taking. Generosity encompasses the sacrifice of working, not for self but the family. Resilience is important to keep going, even if she feels like giving up. These virtues are arranged in this order as it is what one requires to endure and overcome demanding situations while remaining morally responsible. Virtuous Person Virtuous Citizen
Aristotle’s golden rules mean to highlight that moral behavior is the mean between two extremes where at one end there is excess while the other is a deficiency (Rachel & Rachel, 2012). It is by finding a moderate position between these two extremes that one will be acting morally (Samuel & Tay, 2018). Applying this approach to the presented dilemma, it is easy to see the friend’s choice. This means that the better course of action is leaving to help his
family. This also entailed sacrificing comfort so that her child could have a better life. The dilemma entails a conflict of moral familial duties. This is evident when she left, it meant she would not witness her child grow up, which is difficult for both the mom and the child. However, staying would mean that the child would grow through financial trouble and not have a better life.
Rachels, S., & Rachels, J. (2012). The elements of moral philosophy (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill.
Samuel, D., & Tay, L. (2018). Aristotle’s golden mean and the importance of bipolarity for
personality models: A commentary on “Personality traits and maladaptivity:
Unipolarity versus bipolarity”. Journal of Personality, 87(6), 1097-1102. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12383