Group 3: Self – Responsibility, Industriousness

Group 3 virtues move into the “self” category and, as such, are most important to self-esteem.

We are what we are because of the decisions we have made. We alone are answerable for the kinds of persons we have made of ourselves. Children need to be taught to take charge of and own up to their conduct. It could be a long time coming, but being responsible is a sign of maturity and is recognized by:

  • accepting tasks, duties, or obligations;
  • starting and completing tasks, duties, or obligations;
  •  keeping one’s word: being trustworthy, dependable, and reliable;
  • able and willing to answer for one’s conduct and obligations;
  • admitting to mistakes: does not blame others; does nor make excuses; and
  • apologizing when at fault or makes an error that effects others.

Work, Industriousness
Children are free from all the issues associated with careers and in what work they will spend the rest of their lives. However, the seeds to a good attitude about work are planted in childhood. For example … work is not just what we do for a living, but what we do with our living. And … life’s greatest joys are not what one does apart from the work of one’s life, but with the work of one’s life. It is a great mistake to identify enjoyment with mere amusement or relaxing or being entertained.

Some of the indicative qualities and skills of this virtue are:

  • being energetic, hustling, realizing the quantity of input determines the quantity of output;
  • paying attention to detail, taking care of each step in the process, being diligent, realizing that the quality of input determines the quality of output;
  • taking initiative, taking the first step;
  • continually driving toward the end product, staying active “on the job” until the job is done or rest is required;
  • devising ways and means to improve the process and the product, being resourceful;
  • finishing what is started;
  • using time well, not wasting it;
  • being productive, yielding results, benefits, and important transformations;
  • setting challenging goals.
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