The Quest for Moral Perfection – An Introduction
As of tonight, I am embarking on a two week journey towards moral perfection. I have two major reasons for committing to this goal. First, and foremost, I am doing this as a project for school. Objectively speaking, I don’t have much of a choice. However, I do not see this as a dull, dreary homework assignment. Instead, it is a challenge that I must rise up to meet. I do not aim to, nor altogether expect to meet every nuance of each virtue to which I am committing. Rather, I plan to give a steadfast effort to achieving each of them, as Benjamin Franklin attempted throughout his life with his thirteen virtues. My relationship with Franklin is strictly academic, save for my day-to-day interactions with technology derived from his many scientific endeavors. I have not read any of his works nor examined his life to any great extent beyond that which I have been assigned to in school. Furthermore, I have my fair share of scruples with regards to many of his beliefs, especially in his younger years. I do, however, believe that he did a fairly good job of redeeming his questionable, if not condemnable, views as he progressed through life. Reservations aside, I have a great deal of respect for his dedication to perfecting himself, and I am aware that it requires an unimaginable level of willpower to dedicate one’s entire life to such a goal.
I have committed to working towards five virtues which I have deemed myself to be, at least to some degree, lacking in. The first of these virtues is Order. I am, regrettably, quite unorganized most of the time. I struggle to keep both my physical and mental space orderly, and I find this to occasionally be quite frustrating. I am committing to recording all of my homework and other tasks that are to be done each day in an organized manner on this blog. The next of the virtues is Resolution. I have found throughout my life that I struggle to commit to long-term projects (rather ironic, as I am currently committing to a two week plan to fix this very problem). I especially struggle to commit to personal projects such as art, exercise, and other fun and/or healthy activities. I am committing to painting a miniature over the next two weeks, spending at least a while every day working on it and recording my progress on the blog. The third virtue on my list is Confidence. This one is slightly less tangible, and I don’t struggle with it quite as much as the others, but I still feel that it is important. I often struggle with acknowledging my victories, instead fixating on my mistakes. I am committing to find at least one success every day to celebrate and discuss on my blog. My fourth virtue, and one of the most important, is Health. Any semblance of physical fitness I had was utterly destroyed when quarantine began. I have never been good about exercising, so I gladly accepted an excuse to stay inside 24/7. I want this to change, as exercise is immensely important to a long, healthy life. I am committing to going on at least a mile-long walk every day. The final virtue on my list is Responsibility. I tend to procrastinate, putting my work off until the last minute. I wouldn’t say that I’m lazy, but I could definitely do a better job of separating my work into responsible segments. I am committing to doing my work before the deadline is right on top of me to help reduce stress and create a more healthy balance of life and work.
As I said before, I cannot reasonably expect myself to meet every requirement of every virtue on every day. My true goal is to give a good effort and hopefully improve myself. I will not be discouraged by my inability to achieve perfection. Instead, I will acknowledge my failures and learn from them, hopefully avoiding the same mistakes in the future. I truly hope that this will have a lasting positive impact on my life as a whole, and I am glad to have the opportunity to work on such a unique, challenging, and engaging project.