We have incorporated the highly acclaimed and globally implemented Virtues Project© concept into our Senshindo Leadership program and our daily lesson planning.
The Virtues Project is a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life. The Project is sparking a global revolution of kindness, justice, and integrity in more than 95 countries through its facilitators and Virtues Connections.
The Virtues Project empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place. It has inspired and mobilized people worldwide to commit acts of service and generosity, to heal violence with virtues.
Character is destiny. Virtues are the content of our character. The Virtues Project nurtures our children in the skills and qualities they need to be successful in school and in life. Although they are the oldest practices in the world, virtues are essential to the true goal of education – intelligence plus character. Too many of our children are technical wizards and moral illiterates. Power plus control leads to violence. Power plus compassion transforms bullies into leaders.
We adopted a large portion of the strategies and resources in The Virtues Project to hopefully foster academic excellence and create a culture of caring, as well as trust and unity among our members and staff. We found The Virtues Project initiatives to be simple and unbaised and in good repute as they are used by the National Education Association of the U.S., Boys & Girls’ Clubs throughout America, and an Essence National Cares Mentoring program. Schools across Australia, the Pacific, Africa, India, Europe, and Asia use it as a central tool to enhance social and emotional learning.
From early childhood to university graduation, The Virtues Project helps us to create safe and caring schools.
The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project help us to live more reverent, purposeful lives, to raise children of integrity and compassion, develop a culture of character in our schools, and inspire excellence and service in the workplace. These strategies build foundations for safe and caring communities.
Strategy 1: Speak the Language of the Virtues
Language shapes character. The way we speak, and the words we use, have great power to discourage or to inspire. The language of virtues helps us to replace shaming and blaming with personal responsibility and respect. It is a frame of reference for bringing out the best in children and oneself. It helps us to become the kind of people we want to be.
Strategy 2: Recognize Teachable Moments
Recognizing the gifts and life lessons in our daily challenges helps us to cultivate character in oneself and others. When we have the humility and confidence to learn from our mistakes, every
stumbling block becomes a stepping-stone.
Strategy 3: Set Clear Boundaries
Virtues-based boundaries focus on respect, restorative justice and reparation to create a climate of peace and safety. Personal boundaries help us to build healthy relationships and protect our time, our energy and our health.
Strategy 4: Honor the Spirit
This strategy begins with respect for the dignity of each person and encourages us to make time for reflection, reverence, and beauty. It is expressing what is meaningful in our lives by participating in the arts, honoring special life events, and sharing our stories. Creating Vision Statements increases unity and morale in our homes, schools and workplaces.
Strategy 5: Offer Spiritual Companioning
By being deeply present and listening with compassion and detachment, we help others 'to empty their cup'. This counseling approach empowers others to define teachable moments and to reflect on their virtues. It supports moral choice, intimacy in relationships, and peaceful conflict resolution. This process is a powerful tool for healing grief, anger, and trauma.
COURTESY is being polite and having good manners. When you speak and act courteously, you give others a feeling of being valued and respected. Greet people pleasantly. Bring courtesy home. Your family needs it most of all. Courtesy helps life to go smoothly.
Thankfulness is being grateful for what we have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Appreciate the little things that happen around you and within you every day. Think positively. Thankfulness brings contentment.
We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school and global society. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.
Cleanliness means washing often, keeping your body clean, and wearing clean clothes. It is putting into your body and your mind only the things that keep you healthy. It is staying free from harmful drugs. It is cleaning up mistakes and making a fresh start.
Orderliness is being neat and living with a sense of harmony. You are organized, and you know where things are when you need them. Solve problems step by step instead of going in circles. Order around you creates order inside you. It gives you peace of mind.
Modesty is having self-respect. When you value yourself with quiet pride, you accept praise with humility and gratitude. Modesty is being comfortable with yourself and setting healthy boundaries about your body and your privacy.
Being humble is considering others as important as you. You are thoughtful of their needs and willing to be of service. You don’t expect others or yourself to be perfect. You learn from your mistakes. When you do great things, humility reminds you to be thankful instead of boastful.
Self-discipline means self-control. It is doing what you really want to do, rather than being tossed around by your feelings like a leaf in the wind. You act instead of react. You get things done in an orderly and efficient way. With self-discipline, you take charge of yourself.
Detachment is experiencing your feelings without allowing your feelings to control you. Instead of just reacting, with detachment you are free to choose how you will act. You use thinking and feeling together, so you can make smart choices.
EYE TO EYE INTERACTION
Honesty is being truthful and sincere. It is important because it builds trust. When people are honest, they can be relied on not to lie, cheat or steal. Being honest means that you accept yourself as you are. When you are open and trustworthy, others can believe in you.
Truthfulness is being honest in your words and actions. You don’t tell lies even to defend yourself. Don’t listen to gossip or prejudice. See the truth for yourself. Don’t try to be more than you are to impress others. Be yourself, your true self.
Being responsible means others can trust you to do things with excellence. You accept accountability for your actions. When you make a mistake, you offer amends instead of excuses. Responsibility is the ability to respond ably and to make smart choices.
is understanding and caring when someone is hurt or troubled, even if you don’t know them. It is wanting to help, even if all you can do is listen and say kind words. You forgive mistakes. You are a friend when someone needs a friend.
Being tolerant is accepting differences. You don’t expect others to think, look, speak or act just like you. You are free of prejudice, knowing that all people have feelings, needs, hopes and dreams. Tolerance is also accepting things you wish were different with patience and flexibility.
Caring is giving love and attention to people and things that matter to you. When you care about people, you help them. You do a careful job, giving your very best effort. You treat people and things gently and respectfully. Caring makes the world a safer place.
Consideration is being thoughtful of other people and their feelings. You consider how your actions affect them. You pay careful attention to what others like and don’t like, and do things that give them happiness.
Gentleness is moving wisely, touching softly, holding carefully, speaking quietly and thinking kindly. When you feel mad or hurt, use your self-control. Instead of harming someone, talk things out peacefully. You are making the world a safer, gentler place.
Kindness is showing you care, doing some good to make life better for others. Be thoughtful about people’s needs. Show love and compassion to someone who is sad or needs your help. When you are tempted to be cruel, to criticize or tease, decide to be kind instead.
Helpfulness is being of service to others, doing thoughtful things that make a difference in their lives. Offer your help without waiting to be asked. Ask for help when you need it. When we help each other, we get more done. We make our lives easier.
Generosity is giving and sharing. You share freely, not with the idea of receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness, and give just for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.
Love is a special feeling that fills your heart. You show love in a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful act or a hug. Love is treating people and things with care and kindness because they mean so much to you. Love is contagious. It keeps spreading.
is bravery in the face of fear. You do the right thing even when it is hard or scary. When you are courageous, you don’t give up. You try new things. You admit mistakes. Courage is the strength in your heart.
Enthusiasm is being cheerful, happy, and full of spirit. It is doing something wholeheartedly and eagerly. When you are enthusiastic, you have a positive attitude. Enthusiasm is being inspired.
Being assertive means being positive and confident. You are aware that you are a worthy person with your own special gifts. You think for yourself and express your own ideas. You know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for. You expect respect.
You focus your energy and efforts on a task and stick with it until it is finished. Determination is using your will power to do something when it isn't easy. You are determined to meet your goals even when it is hard or you are being tested. With determination we make our dreams come true.
Commitment is caring deeply about something or someone. It is deciding carefully what you want to do, then giving it 100%, holding nothing back. You give your all to a friendship, a task, or something you believe in. You finish what you start. You keep your promises.
Perseverance is being steadfast and persistent. You commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes. When you persevere, you don't give up...you keep going. Like a strong ship in a storm, you don't become battered or blown off course. You just ride the waves.
Diligence is working hard and doing your absolute best. You take special care by doing things step by step. Diligence helps you to get things done with excellence and enthusiasm. Diligence leads to success.
Patience is quiet hope and trust that things will turn out right. You wait without complaining. You are tolerant and accepting of difficulties and mistakes. You picture the end in the beginning and persevere to meet your goals. Patience is a commitment to the future.
Excellence is doing your best, giving careful attention to every task and every relationship. Excellence is effort guided by a noble purpose. It is a desire for perfection. The perfection of a seed comes in the fruit. When you practice excellence, you bring your gifts to fruition. Excellence is the key to success.
Honor is living by the virtues, showing great respect for yourself, other people, and the rules you live by. When you are honorable, you keep your word. You do the right thing regardless of what others are doing. Honor is a path of integrity.
Reliability means that others can depend on you. You keep your commitments and give your best to every job. You are responsible. You don’t forget, and you don’t need to be reminded. Other people can relax knowing things are in your reliable hands.
Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.
Loyalty is staying true to someone. It is standing up for something you believe in without wavering. It is being faithful to your family, country, school, friends or ideals, when the going gets tough as well as when things are good. With loyalty, you build relationships that last forever.
Trustworthiness is being worthy of trust. People can count on you to do your best, to keep your word and to follow through on your commitments. You do what you say you will do. Trustworthiness is a key to success in anything you do.
is unity of action- the act of making different people or things work together for a common goal or effect, including the ability to coordinate one's own senses and physical movements in order to act skillfully.Coordination is the resultingstate of working together, i.e. cooperation and synchronization.
Unity helps us work and live together peacefully. We feel connected with each other and all living things. We value the specialness of each person as a gift, not as a reason to fight or be scared. With unity we accomplish more together than any of one of us could alone.
Trust is having faith in someone or something. It is a positive attitude about life. You are confident that the right thing will happen without trying to control it or make it happen. Even when difficult things happen, trust helps us to find the gift or lesson in it.
Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don’t overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.
Cooperation is working together and sharing the load. When we cooperate, we join with others to do things that cannot be done alone. We are willing to follow the rules which keep everyone safe and happy. Together we can accomplish great things.
Flexibility is being open to change. You consider others’ ideas and feelings and don’t insist on your own way. Flexibility gives you creative new ways to get things done. You get rid of bad habits and learn new ones. Flexibility helps you to keep changing for the better.
Confidence is having faith in someone. Self-confidence is trusting that you have what it takes to handle whatever happens. You feel sure of yourself and enjoy trying new things, without letting doubts or fears hold you back. When you have confidence in others, you rely on them.
VALUES & OUTLOOK
Understanding is using your mind to think clearly, paying careful attention to see the meaning of things. An understanding mind gives you insights and wonderful ideas. An understanding heart gives you empathy and compassion for others. Understanding is the power to think and learn and also to care.
Practicing justice is being fair. It is solving problems so everyone wins. You don’t prejudge. You see people as individuals. You don’t accept it when someone acts like a bully, cheats or lies. Being a champion for justice takes courage. Sometimes when you stand for justice, you stand all alone.
Peacefulness is being calm inside. Take time for daily reflection and gratitude. Solve conflicts so everyone wins. Be a peacemaker. Peace is giving up the love of power for the power of love. Peace in the world begins with peace in your heart.
Tact is telling the truth kindly, considerate of how your words affect others’ feelings. Think before you speak, knowing what is better left unsaid. When you are tactful, others find it easier to hear what you have to say. Tact builds bridges.
ENCOURAGEMENT & SUPPORT
Friendliness is being a friend, through good times and bad. You take an interest in other people and make them feel welcome. You share your belongings, your time and yourself. Friendliness is the best cure for loneliness.
Service is giving to others, making a difference in their lives. You consider their needs as important as your own. Be helpful without waiting to be asked. Do every job with excellence. When you act with a spirit of service, you can change the world.
Being forgiving is giving someone another chance after they have done something wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. Instead of revenge, make amends. Forgive yourself too. Instead of feeling hopeless after a mistake, decide to act differently, and have faith that you can change.
Creativity is the power of imagination. It is discovering your own special talents. Dare to see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems. With your creativity, you can bring something new into the world.
When you have ideals, you really care about what is right and meaningful in life. You follow your beliefs. You don’t just accept things the way they are. You make a difference. Idealists dare to have big dreams and then act as if they are possible.
Being purposeful is having a clear focus. Begin with a vision for what you want to accomplish, and concentrate on your goals. Do one thing at a time, without scattering your energies. Some people let things happen. When you are purposeful, you make things happen.
Joyfulness is an inner sense of peace and happiness. You appreciate the gifts each day brings. Without joyfulness, when the fun stops, our happiness stops. Joy can carry us through the hard times even when we are feeling very sad. Joy gives us wings.
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