Teaching Virtues: Justice
The Teaching of Virtues is, according to educators, the key element in the formation of the Character. As a consequence, the final reward is very fulfilling: the formation of happy and mature adults.
We briefly discuss the virtue of Justice.
Recently, Pope Francis explained how ‘the world’s prescribed cure for crime – punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice”.
By definition, the virtue of Justice “is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour.”
As educators, how can we help our children to receive the indelible benefits of this pivotal virtue?
Justice is fundamentally linked to three human virtues: Obedience, Sincerity and Orderliness.
The constant teaching and practice of these will help youngsters to develop a strong character and will contribute to form happy, mature and responsible individuals.
Obedience, for instance, consists of accepting as our own, decisions coming from people who express or hold authority (providing it does not contradict the moral teachings and values); an obedient individual carries out without delay what has been decided, even to the point of faithfully interpreting the will of those in command. In other words, someone who is obedient will perform simple duties (filling the dishwasher, for example) with promptitude and even joy, trying to follow all the wishes of a tired Mom or Dad at the end of a long day! Definitely, Obedience and generosity walk hand in hand.
Orderliness involves a habit of organizing personal belongings and things, using his or her time properly, carrying out initiatives and duties without having to be reminded on a constant basis. At this point, parents reading this post will inevitably relate the description to that daily disaster zone called… their children’s bedroom. Good!
A great opportunity to exercise this cherished virtue.
Finally, sincerity comes to complete this trio of Virtues. As Jacinta of Fatima puts it, this virtue consists of ‘always saying the truth, even when it is hard’.
Obedience, Orderliness and Sincerity are a fundamental trio to help our children develop the Virtue of Justice in their young hearts, from their very early years. Moreover, the edifice of all the other virtues, is based on these three fundamentals. Guidance and Faith are essential elements in these regards. Parents, therefore, have an irreplaceable role in these matters. Like St John Bosco explains “Unfortunately, parents are not always good counselors because they are not always guided by what is best for their children’s spiritual welfare, but by worldly considerations… But if parents live their faith, they are our best counselors because they know us intimately and their advice can be naught but good and well-founded. Generally, if we ask their advice properly, you will get it.”
Definitely, Justice and its inseparable trio of virtues Orderliness, Sincerity and Obedience are the right place to start.