Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with being a prude. A prude is a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity. This post is not about that. This post is about the Cardinal Virtue of Prudence.
“Think once before you act, twice before you speak, and THREE TIMES before you post on Facebook (or any other form of social media, for that matter).” – Paul Brunson
Recently, I have made the decision to work my way through some of C.S. Lewis’ most signature classics, including Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, and The Great Divorce.
In the course of reading Mere Christianity, I came across the section in which Lewis discusses the Four Cardinal Virtues. These virtues are known as hinge virtues. They are virtues that everyone, no matter their background, would agree are necessary for every person to have in some degree.
The one that struck me the most was the Virtue of Prudence.
Prudence is the quality of being prudent. I know, not a very good definition. To be prudent, one must act with or show care and thought for the future. In simpler terms, this means that a prudent person considers the possible outcomes of the decisions they make.
The main reason this struck me is because I realized how little I act prudent. I never try to analyze my words or actions or consider the potential consequences of what I’m about to say or do. This was made obvious a few years ago when I crossed a serious moral line and am now paying the price. It is a minor price compared to what could have happened, but it is still a steep price to pay. When I made that decision, I did not consider the consequences of my actions, and there are times, even now, when I show no care for my future or the futures of those associated with me.
It made me think, as well, of the upcoming generations. Guys and girls alike are sending sexual text messages to friends and strangers, sending naked pictures of themselves over Snapchat, posting pictures of themselves on Facebook half naked and in sexually suggestive poses.
We all post things on social media that we wish we hadn’t, because it bites us in the butt somewhere down the road. And you know what they say, once something is on the internet, it’s there forever. There’s no way to get rid of it.
And what you post, what you say, what you do, can have consequences, not just eternally, but within this world.
As an example, look at Republican candidate, Dr. Ben Carson. He has published several books regarding his life story, but so many facts are coming to light that show that there is a strong possibility that he lied about major points in his life story. These actions will have serious consequences on his candidacy if he chooses to not come clean about his failures and lies that he has told.
I challenge each of you to begin to practice being prudent. You can do this in any way you like, but I want you to seriously consider what you are about to post on Facebook or some other social media. Who will it hurt? Will my comments cause strife in my friends and family? Will someone save that picture and use it against me if I ever become famous?
Think about these things when you make major and seemingly minor decisions. Start having a care for your future, because life is not just eat, drink, be merry then die. If you strive for a major position, whether in the movies or music or politics or anywhere, be careful about what you do now, while you are young (or young at heart), because you never know what might come back to bite you when you least expect it.