What do you truly value?

stag waterFrom the annals of Aesop’s fables comes a lesson from stag on what’s truly valuable.

Reflecting on his image in a pool of water, a great stag admired the strength, size and shape of his comely antlers. But of his trifling feet of small split hooves, he pitied himself.

A lion appeared and the stag swiftly betook himself to flight, and kept his distance from the lion with ease, until he entered a thicket wood and became entangled with his antlers.

The lion summarily overtook him and the stag was doubly caught. Too late he reproached himself: “Woe is me! How I have deceived myself! These fleet feet which would have saved me I despised, and these widespread antlers I have gloried in have proved my destruction.”

The moral: What is truly valuable is often underrated.

Certain foundational concepts, like virtues, are universal standards because they are true regardless of circumstance, time, or point of view. However, they become meaningful only when we assign them value and priority.

Truth be told, virtues matter. In every personal relationship, every professional decision, every productive action, their values and priorities elevate us all.

As a master craftsman chooses and maintains his tools with care, for they enable his livelihood, his reputation and his prosperity, so we must also assemble our virtuous assets.

Lay hold of Integrity. Pursue Excellence. Add Gratitude. Procure Respect. Acquire Perseverance. Obtain Courtesy. Amass Diligence, Attain Virtue…

What’s in your toolchest?