During the reign of Augustus Caesar, the Roman army suffered its worst loss and defeat in the German wilderness during 9 A.D. Because of that loss, Augustus bequeathed in his estate plan to his successor, Tiberius, the virtue of Prudence, stating “be satisfied with the status quo and suppress completely any desire to increase the Empire to greater size.”
“Prudence is the virtue by which we discern what is proper to do under various circumstances in time and place.” – John Milton (1608-1674)
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place but far more difficult still is to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Benjamin Franklin
Would you bequeath the virtue of prudence to your children or one child in particular?
The Massacre of 15,000 Roman Soldiers is what influenced Augustus to gift Prudence to his son Tiberius. Prudence is that special virtue required being able to see and make your way through the murky waters of life. Prudence is applying universal principles to specific situations; to do that knowledge of Universal moral principles is absolutely necessary.
A prudent person is one that not only knows the good but does it.
The following is an example of a prudent person. My wife Joyce, shortly after graduating from college, purchased her first car, a brand-new 1976 Chevy Camaro. It was a great car and she was very proud of it and enjoyed driving in and around the Salt Lake Valley and nearby mountains.
She also purchased a motorcycle and anyone who has been on a motorcycle knows what an exhilarating experience that can be. There is nothing greater than being out on the open road or going through the hills on the back of a motorcycle.
A few years later, she married and eventually had three children. Tragically, her husband Wayne’s life was cut short by cancer shortly after their third child was born. The prudent thing to do was sell the motorcycle for safety reasons and sell the Camaro and buy a station wagon (this was before minivans) to better haul the children around.
What examples of prudence are there in your life that your children and grandchildren can benefit from if you share those stories with them?
Do you have experiences in your own life where prudence or the lack thereof set the stage for either challenges or successes?