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Ancient Virtues

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  • Though we don’t know exactly when the concept of sustainable development was conceived, we can see it in the virtues emphasized since the ancient times. FRUGALITY, SIMPLICITY, BALANCE, MODERATION, AND PRUDENCE
  • Frugality pertains to an economical way of living, which means that one lives in a sufficient and not wasteful way.
  • Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
  • This kind of living rests on the idea that one lives with finite resources.
  • Frugality was practiced during the Roman period as laws dictated how citizens should restrain from using luxurious clothing and eating luxurious food. Those who were found guilty of going against the law were made know to public and shamed.
  • The idea was to prevent the commoners from imitating the upper class in order to maintain the traditional status and hierarchies.
  • The practice of frugality in Rome is similar to the virtue of simplicity of the Taoists in Asian societies and the practice of moderation of the Greeks which is against living in extremes.
  • Simplicity is the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do, being plain or uncomplicated in form, and being natural.
  • The idea of living in balance can be seen in the teachings of Gautama Buddha who advocated the “Middle Way,” which is the path to moderation.
  • Balance recognizes that many good things in life are good only in moderation.
  • Moderation and living in balance are seen as ways to achieve serenity.
  • Serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
  • The virtue of moderation is accompanied by the virtue of prudence of the Greeks and Romans.
  • To be prudent means having the ability to foresee various possible futures as a result of current actions and conditions.
  • Prudence is care and good sense that someone shows when making a decision or taking action.
  • Prudence, as seen by Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman orator and statesman, is the greatest virtue.
  • In the pronouncement of Cicero, prevention is better than cure. The virtue of prudence is implied.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened.
  • The appreciation for this virtue can also be found in the Analects of Confucius: “He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future is sure to be beset by worries much closer at hand.”
  • Ancient virtues are promoted in the light of the importance of living in a well-ordered society and the necessity of self-preservation.

Frugality- pagtitipid;     Simplicity- kasimplihan/kapayakan;         Balance- balanse

Moderation- kahinahunan/pagtitimpi;       Prudence- kahinahunan/pagtitimpi



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