Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

More Reciprocal Virtues

November 03rd, 2017 by G.

Tact is a virtue.  We all know through experience that being on the receiving end of tact and taking it well is also a virtue.  A hard virtue, in fact.

I don’t know what this virtue is called, but if I find my statue in heaven’s halls of heroes when I arrive, the inscription on the base will probably read “he bore tact.”

There is another example of reciprocal virtues in 1 Nephi 8 (and 1 Nephi 7). As Nephi tells it, Lehi is very blunt with his two oldest sons. He just says that they would not come to the tree in his dream and fears that they will be lost to salvation in life. This is reproof, and the ideal reciprocal virtue would be repentance.

Recognizing the reciprocal virtue is extremely helpful because your exercise of a virtue will be much more virtuous if you do it in a way to call forth and make easy its reciprocal. One should repent in a way that invites correction and reproof. One should reprove in a way that, as much as possible, invites repentance instead of resistance.

(By the way, it is telling that we don’t have a good virtue name for “reproof.” Reproof is itself a neutral term. Admonition maybe?)

There is another example of a reciprocal virtue in Paul’s teaching on wives submitting to their husbands and the Prophet Joseph’s teaching on righteous dominion.


Righteous dominion is that kind of presidency in the home that should be aimed at making submission easy. And a woman should submit in a way that makes righteous dominion easier. There is otherwise far too much tit for tat and trying to force the other into the proper role.

Comments (9)
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November 03rd, 2017 06:53:21
9 comments

Vader
November 3, 2017

Candor?


Bookslinger
November 3, 2017

What is tact usually in response to? An innocent or benign transgression, failure or faux pas? A request for opinion? (Does this dress make my butt look fat?)


G.
November 4, 2017

Candor is the virtue that is the “opposite” of tact. What I’m looking for is the virtue that describes responding to someone’s efforts to be tactful with you. Probably patience or longsuffering or even gratitude.


Bookslinger
November 4, 2017

Still just thinking out loud. Tact is having a good quality of some action/communication. So it is more of an adjecive/adverb, rather than a noun, in it’s application. Tactful, tactfully.

Tact is sort of a love or respect for the other person, even if just at the level of good manners and decorum.

There’s also the Golden Rule aspect to it.


Bookslinger
November 4, 2017

After cogitatin’ somewhat, I’ve come to the opinion that tact is not a virtue, but rather a skill or technique, that can be used for good or ill.


Agellius
November 6, 2017

Books:

I had the same idea. I think tact is something you do sometimes out of charity or kindness, but you can also do it out of self-interest.


G.
November 6, 2017

I don’t see much difference between skills/techniques, and virtues. One can be courageous, or tactful, in a bad cause.


Agellius
November 6, 2017

Good point.

Still I have trouble thinking of it as a standalone virtue. My feeling is that it’s sort of included under both prudence and charity: charity dictating that you be kind, and prudence that you take care in expressing yourself in order to obtain the desired result. But admittedly I haven’t thought it all the way through.


G.
November 7, 2017

Absolutely true, but almost every virtue is a combination of prudence and charity.

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