- Acquired ability to say "no" to ourselves and our lower inclinations.
- Habit of waiting for rewards, and earning them.
- Enjoying pleasures and goods in moderation: food, drink, entertainment, even work itself.
- Lifelong habit of saying (and meaning): please, thank you, I'm sorry, and I give my word....
- Habit of living courtesy and good manners toward everyone, without exception, and doing this even in the face of rudeness or provocation.
- In a word, ``class'': self-restraint, etiquette, healthy self-respect, active concern for the dignity and needs of all around us, an active spirit of service.
---As the final installment of The Virtue Vows, I closed out this project by differentiating when and when not to be a smartass. My job is known for stellar customer service, and sometimes I feel like the customers I deal with like to take advantage of our renowned service. My job has taught me that regardless of whether or not someone is justified in their rude tactics, it never helps to provoke them with an icy attitude. I know I've said this before, but I really am grateful for my job, because in no other situation would you catch this girl biting her tongue in the midst of a rude exchange. This job has really taught me a lot about self-restraint, and that it really isn't necessary to tell someone off for being rude to you, especially if it could cost you your job. Temperance, especially for me, is not a virtue that can be mastered over night or even in a week. I'm not saying that I'm the world's most graceful woman, but I can attest to the fact that grace is a gradual attribute that can only be acquired through years of patience and good nature. I think that I've grown a lot from that wild adolescent who used welcome any kind of cat fight if given the opportunity. For some, this may seem as a shocker, but for others Tina getting into a cat fight is old news.
I don't think I'll ever lose my hint of sass, and among my friends I'm sure I will always be known as the sarcastic smartass. However, I would like to think that over the years I have developed a sense of class to accompany the sass. No longer do I feel the need to prove anything to anybody; I think that goes with trying to become a graceful woman who is confident enough in her own ways to turn the other cheek when provoked. There have been many opportunities in the past year when I was harassed (via facebook, twitter, prank calls, and text messages) that I could have responded with my usual sharp tongue, but for some reason I held it. In the end I realized that once the annoyance subsided, I was able to see clearly each time who the bigger person really was. I'm glad I never stooped to the lowly level of reciprocating in the rude things that certain people have said to me (or about me).
Here are some tactics that I have developed over the years of being around crazy people:
If someone wants to be rude to your face, let them. If others see this, it's even better. It does not make you look like a loser if you respond with indifference or kindness, but rather, you end up inadvertently showcasing said person's true colors for the world to see while simultaneously displaying your grace and temperance.
The same goes for when people decide to bash you all over their facebook page or twitter feed. What better opportunity for the other person to look like an idiot than on a public network? If anyone knows who the person is talking about, they are most likely going to look you up and check for your response; don't supply the opportunity for petty entertainment. Just let the rant go on as a one-sided bitch fest on the other person's end...trust me, the amount of pathetic that these people end up coming off as is hilarious.
Should you ever be privately harassed via prank calls or rude text messages...well, first of all I hope none of you ever make the same mistake I made in befriending people with the maturity of a pre-teen, but if this does ever happen to you, I suggest getting some sort of Psycho Person Block app. I have one for my BlackBerry, and it has worked wonders.
There are a lot of apps like this that are generally free, but for the sake of my sanity, this was the best $2.99 I've ever spent. :)
I am lucky enough to have four days off from work to study, and it has been the perfect time to sit back and take a breather from all the downtown madness that I deal with on a daily basis. I have my finals tomorrow, then it's back to work on Wednesday for the rest of the week. Every day is a test on our virtues, and I'm truly glad that I did this project. To be able to focus and refine each of these virtues has been a great challenge, and I encourage all who have been reading to give it a try. Happy holidays everyone!