Taking Shortcuts

A stitch in time saves nine, they say. More haste, less speed.

These are worthy proverbs, and it’s good to be mindful of them. Most often, as they teach us, an attempted shortcut will end up costing more time than it saves.

Just the other day I was in a hurry to get home, so I took what I thought would be a faster route. Sure enough, I found my way blocked before long, and I had to retrace my steps and then follow the path that I always took.

I agree that most of the time, it is worth doing things the right way rather than just trying to get them done the fast way. Most of the time, but not always.

There is one major exception, in my mind. Virtue.

When it comes to virtue, it is always worth it to take the shortest, fastest path.

Any choice that brings to closer to being the most virtuous person you can be, any decision that increases your share of virtue, is a good decision, and the faster, the better.

It’s not laziness. It’s not carelessness.

It is honourable to grow in virtue, no matter whether you make it hard for yourself or easy. The person who becomes perfectly chaste in a convent is no less honourable than the person who pursues chastity within the walls of a brothel.

There’s no shame in making your path to virtue as easy as possible. In fact, the person who designs a life that will help them become the virtuous person, a life that will decrease the probability of growing in vice, is taking the most honourable and praiseworthy path I can imagine.

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