"Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it."
-Aristotle, William J. Bennett (1993). The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. New York: Simon & Schuster.
That prose seems simple enough when said aloud, but translating those simple words into action is the challenge of a lifetime.
But Aristotle did not say this just so we could apply these words to obtain a certain skill or master a certain craft. No, ultimately he was discussing moral virtue as something that needs just as much practice and repetition as any other skill or hobby is achieved through simply doing it.
From the same speech Aristotle continues, "...men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players, by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled; and by doing brave acts, we become brave..." (I added the italics to draw out some points...it's my blog post, I can do what I want)
So does that mean by watching the many episodes of Parks and Recreation on Netflix yesterday that I did while house cleaning I am an excessive TV watcher?
I think it does.
So then, moving forward, what characteristics do I want to define me throughout my life and long after I'm gone? I assure you TV-addict is not one of them.
I want to be known as reliable, hard-working, knowledge-seeking, and self-disciplined. I want to be one who is said to have read-much, baked-well, and served often. I want to be someone who loves music, relishes life, and inspires others. Mostly though, I want to be thought of and remembered as a supportive, loving, and fun wife and mother.
That list could go on and on, but as Aristotle and Nike said, I need to Just Do It. If I want those things, I need to act reliably, work hard, seek knowledge, discipline myself, and so on. It's difficult to do any of those things while on Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, Pinterest, or whatever else detracts us from acting and doing whatever it is that we want to define us.
Today I plan on doing things to let others know through my actions that I love and am grateful for the life I've been given! La Vita é Bella!