Arete (Virtue)

Arete can be defined as excellence or virtue and is indeed a character trait that most of us try to embody. It is important to distinguish between a person who is habitually honest because someone told her/him to do so (mindless) and a person who is honest because it is within him/her to do so or because they chose to do so on their own (mindful). Only the latter can truly be viewed as embodying virtue. Those who mindlessly do virtuous acts have a “single-track” disposition to do “good” actions for certain reasons and are characterized as self-righteous; they do good to be good versus do good because it is the thing to do. They are selfish in their intent! They also often end up begrudging the choice and hold resentment regarding the action, whether they are aware of it or not. Mindfully virtuous people have a “multi-track” disposition and are concerned with various aspects that influence and are connected to their actions (i.e. emotions, emotional reactions, desires, values, perceptions, attitudes, interests, expectations and sensibilities). In essence, mindfully virtuous people strive to aligne their emotional state with their reasons for doing something. I must point out that this is far easier said than done, and requires gentle courage and determination. That’s where I come in, being the sounding board for more overall clarity. Thus, a fully virtuous person has a high level of practical wisdom (phronesis).

Reference

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About Shawn Athanasios

A little bit about me. I received my BA from California State University, Northridge in Speech Communication and my MA in Culture and Communication from New York University (NYU). My Master’s degree was within the field of Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management and my thesis topic was Meta-Cognition and Human Defensiveness. I wrote about the importance of individuals learning how to understand their defensiveness and negative thinking habits as a way to improve the overall cohesiveness within their human relationships. Curerently, I am an Adjunct Professor at SAE Institute, and my pasrt teaching experience includes several of the top Universities in the U.S. (NYU, LIM College, Pace University, Manhattan College & Georgia State University). My teaching experience includes the following courses: Interviewing Strategies, Intro to Human Communication and Culture, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Principals and Theories of Communication, Public Speaking and Theories of Speech Communication I decided to create my own Coaching Business (JAAS Coaching) under the umbrella of Personal and Career Development for those looking to enhance their current profession, change careers, discover their deepest passions, communicate and manage conflict more effectively, achieve high levels of motivation, and find balance with their total self by offering a holistic approach to career and personal development. My eBook, "The Soul Search Before the Job Search," encompasses all of my work as a Personal and Executive Coach. My website/blog is www.JAAScoaching.comLinks to an external site. I have had many fulfilling experiences that include being raised in Laos, Ghana, India & Egypt by parents of the U.S. Foreign Service and Diplomatic community, teaching ESL in South Korea, serving as a Primary Counselor for kids out of Juvenile Hall, and mentoring grade school children through a Psychologist’s referred program. In addition, I am proud to have received a full scholarship for my Masters Degree at NYU, to have been the sole recipient of the Rosenberg scholarship and for graduating Magna Cum Laude upon completion of my graduate degree. I also presented two papers at the New York Speech Communication Association (NYSCA) conference while at Graduate School where I discussed the importance of taking full ownership of one’s shortcomings as essential to inducing change within oneself and one’s environment and how to be an effective interpersonal communicator. And finally, I was voted Faculty of The Year and Georgia State University after just one semester on the job! The article can be found on my website/blog. My volunteer work is reflected through participating in Buddhist Activities as a member of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world. Previously, I was the Young Men’s Division Leader for Houston District, I transcribed the World Tribune to audiotapes for the blind Buddhist members, I published an article in the Soka Gakkai’s Living Buddhism magazine and was a volunteer staff writer for the organization’s newspaper (The World Tribune). I continues to lead group discussions on Nichiren Buddhist Theory.
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