”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle was on to something there. I think I now understand those relentless drills we did in Catholic school to learn things like the common prepositions or basic arithmetic formulas. To this day I remember how to find the volume of a cylinder (pr2h), among many other things.
This quote from Aristotle also gives me insight into Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Habits are acts of will or accident, that are solidified over time. They can be bringers of good or ill. Without them sports, driving your car, even typing this diminutive essay could not be done with any proficiency or excellence.
When you combine Aristotle and Paul you get decent people. Isn’t that what we want to be, want our children to be, want our society to be. I remember when I was growing up in the South, it was imperative that I said, “Yes mam, No mam, please,” and “thank you.” Our current society and social discourse could learn a lot from Aristotle and Paul. After all these years, I guess there was something to be said for learning your manners.
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