There is a person in my life who is very dear to me. This person is what anyone would outwardly call virtuous. They are temperate, gentle, agreeable, truthful, at times witty and the right amount of proud. Recently I have seen this once blossoming and generally well loved person crumble under the weight of unforeseen change. They are depressed, jobless, have few goals, and are deteriorating because of their unwillingness to pick themselves up where they stand and go forth. This person did not loose a lot of their virtues through their deterioration. They have stuck to their benevolence. I couldn’t help but think of them as I pondered virtues and success.
In Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle outlines many wonderful virtues. The greatest difference I see between Koch’s values and Aristotle’s is that Aristotle seems to be shotting for an achievable end. When one achieves this end, they are good and have virtue. The means to get to this end were not necessarily virtues. Once this end is achieved I feel that the task according to Aristotle is mostly done. One has gotten to goodness and there they will remain. Koch’s introduction of things such as value creation, knowledge, and change are essential in my opinion.
For the downtrodden one I love, their was a path laid for happiness and everything possible to travel this path was being pursued. At the first real dip in this path and the first fall, they let themselves fall apart. It is essential for successful and unsuccessful people have some bit of entrepreneurial spirit, embrace change, and value fulfillment if they are going to progress. Koch says that success can often be the biggest enemy as it can lead to complacency. This is true and however one may get down there has to be a serious value and plan for how to get back up. Whether it’s a business, family, classroom, or individual the end of one’s journey is important, yes. An end cannot be achieved without means and it is the means that will determine the end. I take great personal meaning in Koch’s ideas of always improving one’s worth by what one can create to stay afloat. It is a constant battle to improve ones self and adaption will be necessary.