The virtues cross and encompass the boundaries of all nations, cultures, and philosophies. No one has a monopoly on them. They are non-sectarian. They reside equally in all of us. The virtues are inherent to your true nature. You find them in the highest feeling of the deepest place in your heart.  Lovers leave you,  children go their own way,  friends forget you,  youth fades,  homes are sold,  jobs are lost,  fortunes vanish,  and wars are waged. But you never lose your heart, the home of the virtues. You may lose touch with it, but it is never lost. And it is the knowing in your own heart that is your true guiding light. The virtues are most easily seen in times of tragedy and peril. We have seen how sudden disaster can transform common men and women into heroes. In these times we realize that the goodness, dignity and determination of the human soul are essential to our basic survival and well-being, and moreover, can take us to triumphs undreamt of. In our daily lives, the feelings and actions that pass between us do make a difference. Goodwill is catching; one uplifting deed really does inspire another. One good feeling can save a life. When we live in virtue, we are offering a tremendous contribution to the world, no matter how small we may think is our sphere of influence. A single flame can light the greatest fire. And when we live forthrightly, without motive for recompense, something magical happens inside of us too. We purify our mind, build strong character and create good fortune. We find greater health and happiness. We attract blessings. And we grow in love. To each of us, a life has been given, and with it, truly an awesome and priceless responsibility—the freedom to choose how we live in the world and what we make of ourselves and our lives. You do not have control over all that happens to you, but you do have control over how you respond and what you think and say and do. You are in charge. Where you put your attention, what action you take, is up to you. Cultivating your virtue is choosing, with deep and honest contemplation, at every crossroad, over and over again, to do what you know is right, to live up to your best, to honor your higher calling. This is what the sages describe as conquering the self. It is the most difficult challenge anyone will ever face in life. Yet for those who earnestly and wholeheartedly accept this challenge, no other life can compare. Fear not. The sages also say that you have all the power within yourself to live such a beautiful, magnificent, fulfilling life (Taken from by William Alan Shirley)