Maxim Monday: Exercise nobility of character

There are 146 of these maxims. This is only number 30. I feel like I’m running out of things to say about virtues!

What is nobility of character? I think it is character possessing many of the virtues outlined in the Maxims. When I think of nobility I immediately think of a person of upper class bearing and stature, someone trying to be regal. But outside of a feudal context, I see someone with grace, strength of presence, good manners, a firm handshake, eye contact; I see a person of his word, a person who take the ‘high road’ in matters of conflict and resolution.

Beyond defining what nobility of character entails, I like the use of the word ‘exercise.’ This implies that developing a noble character is a practice. Just as developing a sound mind and a fit body takes daily exercise, so too does a noble character take daily practice. We have to give more focus and exertion to those qualities we want to possess than to those traits we do not.

I realize that just as I’m getting a bit bored with this series, writing weekly about these virtues is one way of developing my own noble character. I exercise the kind of person I want to be by meditating on these virtues, by practicing my writing, by taking the high road as often as possible.


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