A Turning Point: The 6 Character Strengths

A Turning Point

Thumbnail image from Pixabay

By Jan Larraine Cox 

We understand we could be approaching a turning point in the pandemic in the United States if we all continue to follow Covid safety guidelines, even after receiving the vaccine.  In the Miami area, spring break revelers threatened this hope, but thankfully warm weather hastened their return home! 

Because of the continued length of this health crisis, we who are endeavoring to stay safe are thinking forward, even if not ready to act on our latest goals.  It helps to have something to anticipate.  Many have decided to try a new hobby, which helps to create neural pathways in the brain.  Others have decided to eliminate what doesn’t provide positive feedback to their lives. 

Some have found ways to become resilient and bounce back.  By thinking of what you like about yourself, one becomes kinder to oneself, avoiding negative self-talk. Consequently, we can become more meaningful in the community, as we find our meaning and purpose. 

The Turning Point for Positive Thinking and Health

Some ask: “What is my unique footprint, and how can I share my unique strengths with others?” 

The VIA Classification of 24 Character Strengths addresses this point, for we all have within us many gifts that can brighten the lives of others.  The VIA Institute on Character in Cincinnati, Ohio, has devised a unique list of strengths addressing Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance and Transcendence. 

Image from PositivePsychology.org 

Wisdom evolves from creativity—how clever and adaptive one is in problem-solving, for example.  With an innate love of learning one can easily master new skills while staying open-minded enough to master new topics and add to one’s knowledge.  Wisdom opens the doors to the big picture and the ability to think critically while thinking through issues. 

Courage is linked to perseverance, having the stamina to persist to the completion of a task.  To speak up for what is right, energetically enthusiastic, delivers authentic and trustworthy results, from a sincere place in one’s heart. 

Humanity delivers altruism and knowing what makes others tick.  Aware of the motives and feelings of oneself and others encourages close relationships based on a warm and genuine core.  When compassionate, our kindness can translate into a sort of social intelligence that engenders warm and close relationships. 

The character strength of Justice encourages one to act as a team player with loyalty and social responsibility.  As a just leader one encourages group activities that accomplish things for the team. 

From Pixabay

Temperance brings with it forgiveness with mercy and the acceptance of others’ shortcomings.  In humility, one modestly allows one’s accomplishments to speak for themselves. 

Finally, Transcendence delivers the ability to appreciate the beauty and the goodness of others that surround us.  To feel blessed and express thanks for this goodness that surrounds us, we connect to purpose and meaning.  We are drawn into a relationship with the sacred. 

As we aim to end this pandemic through vaccines, social distancing and mask-wearing, we can stay optimistic that we shall come out of it and once again be truly lighthearted and playful, newly enhanced with character strengths isolation has ironically grown within us. 


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