The Philosophy of Hutch Part 29 – Virtue

These keep getting better and better. We take quotes from Matthew D. Hutcheson’s letters and emails and put them to music. Hutch gives us some really good stuff to share.

Matthew D. Hutcheson’s April 11, 2021 Weekly Update to Is Family About Virtue. © Matthew D. Hutcheson 2021

“Dear Fam,

It was starting to warm up and…wham! We were just hit with another cold front. In the last hour, the temperature has dropped 20+ degrees. Yuk! Snow and rain this entire week. Oh well, we could be trying to escape a lava flow or sinking into an earthquake-caused crevice. Perspective.

Speaking of storms… Recently I have been pondering more deeply about virtue. Virtue is moral excellence. It is personal excellence. It is an elevated state of being. Many incorrectly think that those with an abundance of visible virtue have always been abundantly virtuous. True, virtues are planted in the heart and spirit of each individual by our Heavenly Father. But He does not activate virtue “just because.” As an example, He feeds the birds worms, but he does not throw the worms into the nest. The birds have to search for the worms that are in the ground, but hidden. When the thunderstorms come and the dirt fills with rainwater, the worms come out of hiding.

I really hate to compare virtue with worms, but I think you know what I mean. Virtues are in us, like worms are in the ground, but must be coaxed out of hiding by a storm. The storm for us could be anything. Illness. Relationship instability. Accidents. Misunderstandings. Incarceration. Storms cause vicissitude.

“Vicissitude” means the “ups and downs” of life. Vicissitude makes virtue. Or, rather, it coaxes virtues out of hiding, or otherwise activates virtues that are dormant. Virtue is necessary for satisfaction with life. Without virtue, one thinks and feels that he or she is a victim. Such a person is perpetually dissatisfied and complains incessantly about anything and everything, especially insignificant things. Most hate the storm and the ups and downs that come with it. It is certainly understandable because “the downs” are never any fun. However, those who attempt to avoid “the downs” at all costs eventually wonder why they are so dissatisfied with their lives. One cannot be satisfied with his or her life without virtue, and there can be no virtue without vicissitude, and there can be no vicissitude without regular storms.

When one understands the relationship between all these things, a great calm will come. He or she will be able to endure anything with dignity and grace. I love you.

Life in the Extreme, Matt”