3. Prudence

  First Part

    Did you know that the youth is imprudent? It is me, your computer, telling you. But I want to tell you with prudence. My intention is not to bother you, but to invite you to examine whether or not I am right, in order for you after to learn as a consequence. You provide me with my reasons behind this affirmation, seeing that you are impetuous, thoughtless, unconscious, reckless, extreme, spontaneous, fickle, and precipitated. Can you admit to this? Do not tell me that you cannot.

    Therefore, a person acting on these impulses must usually commit many imprudences.

    With this I do not intend to limit in the least bit your right to be young. My wish is to help you become prudent even if you are young, as well as help you learn how to balance between extremes.

    I say “between extremes”, because every virtue has an exact middle point between not reaching it and passing it. If one does not reach this precise point, or passes it, virtue stops being virtue. This is precisely what prudence encompasses: staying on the exact middle balance. That is why prudence is also known as the “regulator of other virtues”.

    Can we attempt to see what implies being prudent?

    A person who is prudent is someone who, at work and in relations with others, is informed through straightforward and genuine criteria about what should be done; a prudent person reflects before taking a decision on the favorable and unfavorable consequences of one’s actions in relation to others, and then act or not depending on what was best to decide.

    A prudent person is someone that before doing something, and keeping in mind the straightforward and genuine criteria collected, measures the consequences that can follow the action taken, and then it is when they decide or not, to act in one way or another.

  A. Fill in the blank with one of the following words: the youth, adults, prudent, imprudent, unbalanced, balanced, extremes, or centers.

  ( ) is very impetuous
  ( ) tend to be extremists.
  ( ) are reflective and consistent.
  ( ) are reckless and spontaneous.
 The goal is to become ( )  
 A ( ) person is prudent.
 Virtue is located between two ( )
 A ( ) person has straightforward and genuine criteria.
 A ( ) person reflects on the possible consequences before deciding.
 An ( ) person does not think about the possible consequences of one’s actions.

  Second Part

    Words to emphasize:

    - Before acting.
    - Criteria.
    - Reflect.
    - Consequences.
    - Decide whether to act or not.

   Prudence mainly relates to future events. It invites us to look away, to foresee the consequences.

    It is therefore necessary to know, think and judge reality and circumstances "before" deciding to do or say something.

    And to judge reality, you have to have benchmarks against which to measure it. In a trial, for example, the behavior of a person can be measured against the laws. The law, in this case, is a benchmark or criterion by which to judge a certain conduct.

    In prudence these criteria can be the following: the permanent values proposed in this program, basic laws, respect towards others, etc.

    In light of these criteria, favorable and unfavorable consequences can be reflected upon and measured regarding one’s self and others.

    After having reflected, a prudent person decides to act and how, or decides not to act. Prudence always dictates a decision that must be taken.

  B. Fill in the blank with one of the following words: past, future, reality, imagination, prudent, imprudent, impulses, criteria, consequences, circumstances, special, or common.

 Prudence refers to ( ) acts.

 It is necessary to know, reflect, and judge( )

 A ( ) person judges the possible consequences before acting.

 ( ) are the benchmarks to follow in order to act well.

 A prudent person measures the possible ( ) in light of the criteria.

 Prudence is also known as ( ) sense in ordinary life.

  Third Part

   Conduct Guidelines:

      * At your age, obedience will ensure prudence.

     * You will be wise if you study every day. You will not be, if you only study just the day before exams.

     * Seek advice when you have perplexities.

     * Try to acquire criteria to help you judge reality critically.

     * Take up a critical attitude towards events, opinions, political realities, ideologies, advertising, what is in fashion, television programs, books, newspapers, etc.

     * Do not decide, as a criterion of prudence, on the most pleasant or comfortable, or useful, or easy option. The easy way out is not always the most prudent way.

     * After your imprudences, the correct thing to do is to recognize and correct them as fast as possible.    Original text of Don Samuel Valero.

  C. Fill in the blanks with one of the following words: obedience, rebellion, prudent, or imprudent.

  ( ) is the best guarantee of prudence.

 It is ( ) to study only the night before exams.

 It is ( ) for advice when encountered with difficulties.

 It is ( ) acquire straightforward and genuine criteria.

 It is ( ) not to have a critical attitude towards advertising and what is in fashion.

 It is ( ) to have a critical attitude towards opinions and politics.

 It is ( ) not to have a critical attitude towards television and newspapers.

 It is ( ) to decide for what is comfortable and sedentary.


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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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