We are right in thinking that peace in our lives has something to do with love, but we continue to witness a failure of love. This is because love can only be channeled through virtue. We may have a great reservoir of love, but if we lack magnificence, or justice, or courage, perseverance, chastity, or sobriety, that love will remain in the reservoir, and the world around us will continue to burn. If we are impetuous, thoughtless, or inconstant and negligent, if we are, like many people, unable to learn from experience (memory), and if we are not indifferent enough to the pleasures of touch, our love will not stretch beyond the self in order to bring life and light to others in our lives. The greatest thinkers have always understood that happiness is not pleasure or fame, but virtue. In fact, cultivating virtue is the secret to looking beautiful, as well as the means of achieving intellectual clarity. But as the word 'cultivate' suggests, this work is hard labor. It is much easier to cultivate a field, for it takes much less time. Cultivating the virtues takes a good part of a lifetime. This book is a fundamental moral treatise set within the context of the four cardinal virtues that bring integrity, proportion, and clarity to the principal faculties of the human person.
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