Courage&Prudence – As Bill Sees It # 91
When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was, and we became able to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born of humility, rather than of bravado.
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Prudence is a workable middle ground, a channel of clear sailing between the obstacles of fear on the one side and of recklessness on the other. Prudence in practice creates a definite climate, the only climate in which harmony, effectiveness, and consistent spiritual progress can be achieved.
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“Prudence is rational concern without worry.”
~ 1. GRAPEVINE, JANUARY 1962 ~
~ 2. TWELVE CONCEPTS, P. 65 ~
~ 3. TALK, 1966 ~
What Is Prudence ?
Dictionary – the quality of being prudent; cautiousness. ‘We need to exercise prudence in such important matters”
Wikipedia – Prudence was considered by the ancient Greeks and later on by Christian philosophers, most notably Thomas Aquinas, as the cause, measure and form of all virtues. It is considered to be the auriga virtutum or the charioteer of the virtues.
It is the cause in the sense that the virtues, which are defined to be the “perfected ability” of man as a spiritual person (spiritual personhood in the classical western understanding means having intelligence and free will), achieve their “perfection” only when they are founded upon prudence, that is to say upon the perfected ability to make right decisions.
For instance, a person can live in temperance when he has acquired the habit of deciding correctly the actions to take in response to his instinctual cravings.
The function of prudence is to point out which course of action is to be taken in any concrete circumstances. Prudence has a directive capacity with regard to the other virtues. It lights the way and measures the arena for their exercise. Without prudence, bravery becomes foolhardiness; mercy sinks into weakness, free self-expression and kindness into censure, humility into degradation and arrogance, selflessness into corruption, and temperance into fanaticism