(Just a reminder that my reflection and comments are late due to my absences) As a reminder, my five virtues were cleanliness, order, physical health, balance, and acceptance. My end goal was to lead a more productive lifestyle and create a healthier mindset. I tended to prioritize virtues that I could easily incorporate into that specific day, so sometimes it was focused on order and other days it was physical health. I was also out of town for a majority of this project so it was interesting to compare how I embodied my virtues in and out of school.
The virtue I struggled the most with was cleanliness. My goal with cleanliness was to solely keep my surroundings clean. To begin, I shared a hotel room with three other girls. As many people can assume, it was a struggle to keep our room clean. Although on our second to last day we allotted ourselves 10 minutes to clean it. This act completely changed our entire environment – both physically and mentally. Once I arrived home, my suitcase took over my room; clothes were everywhere. Similar to my cluttered and crazy room, my mental state was all over the place. At this point I was finally able to grasp the real reasoning for picking cleanliness as a virtue: people’s surroundings coexist with their mental happiness.
Although I improved on most of my virtues, the virtue I improved the most on was balance. Through this process I have learned that my body and mind needs breaks from the craziness of our society. When I was in Philadelphia, I did not open my computer to do any schoolwork on the trip. While this was partially forced because we did not have access to wifi, I was able to connect with my peers and live in the moment. Recently I have found myself worrying about schoolwork so much I have been unable to enjoy what’s happening at that moment.
In the end, my outcome from my virtues was similar to what I expected it to be. I was not extremely successful, but I learned key values I need to implement into my everyday life. Furthermore, if I tried this again in the future I would focus on one virtue at a time just as Benjamin Franklin did. I think it would be easier to conquer a virtue if I put all my attention into it. I think it is also important to understand that achieving “moral perfection” is unrealistic, all that is needed to try to continually be a better person.