When we want something, it is natural instinct to work really hard to achieve it. Things like having a new car, or exploring the world or aiming for a promotion. “I will give my all to have it,” is usually what our determined minds would say. However, there are times when our intense desire overturns our reasoning. We sometimes fail to assess ourselves — is our desire geared towards serving our own purpose or is it for the greater good?
There is nothing wrong with aiming for something grand in life. Who wouldn’t want the best things in life, right? Although, it would be best that when you aim for something you also consider how it would affect the people around you. This is where the virtue of temperance steps in.
Temperance is controlling our desires and wants in order to achieve a greater good and meet our life goals. It is giving up our personal longing for the benefit of the majority and at the same time-serving a different life goal.
It is not easy to practice this virtue. It is a jungle out there and the name of the game is survival of the fittest. The mind says, if you will not look out for yourself, who else will? However, every man has a good heart. When calamity strikes, it is innate for a vast majority to help. Set aside personal interests and give a part of yourself to uplift others. Recently we have been through a lot of hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires and other calamities and indeed, the virtue of temperance has been very evident.
When you put this virtue into practice there will come a day when you will realize that the more you put others first, the more you are able to achieve all your goals in life. Be a person for others, it is good for the heart.
Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion. — Thomas Aquinas