It would be wonderful if someone could tell you exactly what to do in every situation and how to do it. How do we synthesize, translate, organize all the parenting strategies out there? All the research? All the advice?
There is no Rosetta Stone for parenting, as you quickly realized. There’s no one thing that unlocks it all. But funny enough, the Stoics do provide us with something equally ancient that can serve us as parents, that can guide us in most every situation.
These are the Cardinal Virtues, which Zeno laid down in the 3rd Century B.C. as:
Like the cardinal points on a compass—named in a nod to the virtues—these ideals guide us. They guide us through the sleepless nights. They guide us during the arguments. They guide us through the uncomfortable conversations. When our temper is tested, when our values and ethics are tested. When we have to make big decisions. When it all doesn’t go according to plan.
We need these virtues and we need to teach these virtues to our children. Their life…and the future hinges on it. So memorize these four virtues. Act on them. Live them. Parent by them. And keep them close to your heart always.
P.S. To help you keep the Four Virtues in mind and to carry them around like a compass, we created the the Four Virtues Medallion!
The front of the Four Virtues Medallion features a custom-designed seal with four elements representing the Four Virtues: a lion (Courage), a man sprinkling water into a jug of wine (Temperance), a set of scales (Justice), and an owl (Wisdom). On the back is an admonition not to exchange the Four Virtues for others—for there is no other set of virtues that will serve you better than these.
As with all our other coins, the Four Virtues Medallion is handcrafted in the United States by a custom mint operating in Minnesota since 1882. Each coin is shipped with an accompanying information card, explaining the Four Virtues to its fortunate recipient. Each coin has a unique finish and character.