Jun 9, 2017

What Sort of Virtues?

Slovie Wolff wonders whether parents these days are producing kids with "resume virtues" instead of giving them "eulogy virtues."

By that she means, many parents seek to provide their children with numerous extra-curricular activities (music, sports, art, martial arts) to broaden their experiences, develop their talents, and ultimately, look good good on their college resumes. But none of those activities are important, in and of themselves.

Rather, parents should be cultivating children who are idealistic, who want to make a positive difference in the world, who see a need and rise to the occasion and fill it.

She was addressing a general Jewish readership on Aish.com. The same applies to those who are religiously observant. Resume virtues for shidduchim include which great schools the boy/girl attended, which camps, and for girls - if they were the heads of anything in school or had prestigious jobs in camp.

Eulogy virtues would include middos tovos, erlichkeit, ahavas Yisrael.

I sometimes read tributes-obituaries in the Jewish paper and am amazed by the wonderful people we had among us, with eulogy virtues that include things like devotion to family, devotion to G-d, and kindness for fellow Jews.

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