Thursday, February 6, 2020

It’s Greek to Me

The Greek words I would associate with the 7 virtues are: The 4 natural virtues: sophia, hupomone, sophrosyne or sophron, dikaiosyne; the 3 theological virtues: pistis, elpis, and agape.

Look into how those words are used and the ideas Aquinas was getting at will probably become clear. Augustine probably had similar things in mind too.

-          RMB (edited for clarity)

RMB offered this in response to my plea for help: what is the telos for human beings?  What is the critical feature or common core of this telos?  Let’s go through these one by one.  If others have better definitions / meanings, please comment below.

The Natural (Cardinal) Virtues:

Prudence / Sophia

Prudence (φρόνησις, phronēsis; Latin: prudentia; also Wisdom, Sophia, sapientia), the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.

Sophia (Koinē Greek: σοφία sophía "wisdom") is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy and religion, Platonism, Gnosticism, and Christian theology. Originally carrying a meaning of "cleverness, skill", the later meaning of the term, close to the meaning of Phronesis ("wisdom, intelligence"), was significantly shaped by the term philosophy ("love of wisdom") as used by Plato.

Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.

Among other characteristics, “Wisdom is associated with…compassion…ethics…benevolence.”  It seems wisdom is often practiced while considering the good for others.

Courage / Andreia, Hupomone

Courage (ἀνδρεία, andreia; Latin: fortitudo): also termed fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation

Courage (also called bravery or valour) is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement, or personal loss.

The classical virtue of fortitude (andreia, fortitudo) is also translated "courage", but includes the aspects of perseverance and patience.

Hupomone is generally translated " patience" or " endurance”; the idea is of the staying power that keeps a man going to the end.

When I am personally in a situation of mortal danger, I don’t think I act from a sense of courage, but purely self-preservation.  The desire for self-preservation is innate in all organisms; there is no “virtue” in this.  It is difficult to consider as examples of courage any such situation.  Physical Courage, it seems to me, is best seen when in the service of others: I fight for my family, my community, values of permanence.

What of Moral Courage?  I imagine that this need not always be demonstrated in the service of others.

Temperance / Sōphrosynē

Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosynē; Latin: temperantia): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Sōphrosynē can also be translated as sound-mindedness.

Temperance is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint. It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing. This includes restraint from retaliation in the form of non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance in the form of humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as extravagant luxury or splurging now in the form of prudence, and restraint from excessive anger or craving for something in the form of calmness and self-control.

Sophrosyne (Greek: σωφροσύνη) is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, decorum and self-control.

Sophron: Of a sound and well-balanced mind; moderate, prudent, sensible, reasonable.

Why bother with self-restraint unless considering the consequences of your actions on others?

Justice / Dikaiosynē

Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosynē; Latin: iustitia): also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue; the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness

Justice is one of the four cardinal virtues in classical European philosophy and Roman Catholicism. It is the moderation or mean between selfishness and selflessness – between having more and having less than one's fair share.

Justice is closely related, in Christianity, to the practice of Charity (virtue) because it regulates the relationships with others. It is a cardinal virtue, which is to say that it is "pivotal", because it regulates all such relationships, and is sometimes deemed the most important of the cardinal virtues.

According to Aristotle, "Justice consists in a certain equality by which the just and definite claim of another, neither more nor less, is satisfied."  This is equal insofar as each one receives what he is entitled to, but may be unequal insofar as different people may have different rights….

Why bother with justice unless considering the consequences of your actions on others?

I cannot consider these four Natural Cardinal Virtues without incorporating “other-regarding action.”  It seems at least somewhat true for two of these, and completely true for two others. 

The Theological Virtues

Faith / Pistis

Pistis was the personified spirit (daimona) of trust, honesty and good faith. She was one of the good spirits to escape Pandora's box and promptly fled back to heaven, abandoning mankind. Her Roman name was Fides and her opposite number were Apate (Deception) and the Pseudologoi (Lies).

Conviction of the truth of anything, belief.  Fidelity, faithfulness: the character of one who can be relied on.

Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid, is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept.  The word translated as "faith" in English-language editions of the New Testament, the Greek word πίστις (pístis), can also be translated as "belief", "faithfulness", or "trust".

Hope / Elpis

Elpis was the personified spirit (daimona) of hope. She and the other daimones were trapped in a jar by Zeus and entrusted to the care of the first woman Pandora. When she opened the vessel all of the spirits escaped except for Elpis (Hope) who remained behind to comfort mankind. Elpis was depicted as a young woman carrying flowers in her arms. Her opposite number was Moros, the spirit of hopelessness and doom.

From a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure)

In classical Greek literature, elpis can be used as an expectation of the future in either a positive or a negative way, as opposed to our usual understanding when we use the term “hope” in English (anticipating something positive).

Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation." 

Among its opposites are dejection, hopelessness, and despair.

Love (Charity) / Agape

Agape in the Greek classics spoke of a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved.

Agape may involve emotion, but it must always involve action. Agape is unrestricted, unrestrained, and unconditional. Agape love is the virtue that surpasses all others and in fact is the prerequisite for all the others.

beneficial love which wills good for others.

Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agapē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, "the highest form of love, charity" … it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance. It goes beyond just the emotions to the extent of seeking the best for others.

Faith, Hope, and Love inherently have others in their sights.  Can these be embraced without leaning on Christ?  Not likely, it seems to me; certainly not sustainably.

Christianity expanded quickly in the first centuries after Christ.  One significant reason for this was that Christians put Love in action.  The Greeks (and Romans), whatever their philosophical and mythical views, certainly did not behave in a similar way.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  If the Greeks or Romans had such an idea, they sure didn’t live it.  Criticism is made of various practices that endured at times through Christendom’s history – yet, as Rene Girard offers, we criticize Christianity through the lens of Christianity!

What is the target at which we aim?  Who is the archetype?  Faith, Hope and Love have been put into proper action only through Christ.  Without a target at which to aim, there is little chance to hit the target.


I repeat my conclusion from an earlier post:

Certainly, the Four Natural Virtues can exist without Faith, Hope and Love.  But will they sustain through time, from generation to generation, without Faith, Hope and Love?  What does this say about any hope for sustained liberty?  Interesting.  I cannot even write that question without leaning on one of the Theological Virtues.

Further: I cannot put the Cardinal Virtues and my desire for liberty into practice without the Theological Virtues – why would I care about or hope for liberty sustained through time unless I possessed Faith, Hope and Love?

I think I can now go further: other-regarding action is common to the four Natural Virtues – not observable in all manners for a couple of these Virtues, but common to all.  The seven Virtues offer the correct standard of evaluation for an enlightened pursuit of ends.  If the seven do, then these four do as well.

I can imagine forms of happiness that do not entail other-regarding action, but not many.  As Fr. Thomas Joseph White offered:

Most forms of happiness come from goods held in common: the shared life together.  A completely individualistic concept cannot lead to happiness as Thomas sees it.

 Through examining these virtues in detail, I now better understand why this is so.


  1. From a Christian perspective looking forward you could say we were created to live out the life of Christ. In Genesis 1&2 that is what we see, a life in fellowship of husband and wife with God. The life was to enjoy God but also to live like God, since we were made in His image.

    In Genesis 3:8, God is walking around in the garden and Adam and Eve hear him stepping through vegetation. That can only be Jesus. The Father and Spirit have no bodies. It was always about Jesus.

  2. From an Islamic perspective, forgiveness can be a virtue but it can also be a sin. Allow me to explain.

    We can broadly divide people into two groups, atheists and believers. We can further divide believers into deists and occasionalists. Deists believing in a creating God but not a sustaining God, a clockwork universe if you will. Occasionalists on the other hand see nothing but the will of God.

    Now if one is a deist, it is better to be a forgiving deist rather than a non-forgiving deist. But being a deist is still a defect in faith. But if one is an occasionalist, then forgiveness is truly a great sin. For that means that you see some other power in your life apart from God.

    Take the example of when God threw Joseph into the well. Imagine Joseph forgiving his brothers for something that did not come from them, but rather through them. We see that God used the people in Joseph's life to effect His purpose.

    Now when Joseph forgives his brothers, it's because he is speaking to them at their level of spiritual maturity, i.e., they still think they threw Joseph into the well. In fact, Joseph no longer sees his brothers. On the contrary, all he sees is God. This becomes clear to him when he becomes the prime minister of Egypt, and sees that all these events in his life were the work of God.

    1. Ahmed,

      Where does 'free will' fit into the Occasionalist mindset? And if it doesn't, if everything is predestined and ordained by God, how can any particular governmental regime be criticized? Religious persecution? Concentration camps? Mass executions? On what ground would the true believer (the man who sees only the will of God in everything) stand to mount a moral attack against these kind of behaviors?

      Logically, if everything is predestined, there is none.

      Further, if everything is preordained of God, as some Christians also would have it, then none of our choices matter, and we may as well be nothing but collections of cells and atoms set in motion by a clockwork universe (whether or not it is operated by God). How boring for God!

      In this way, if free will is rejected, we end up right back in a materialist world even if we arrived here by way of extreme piety.

      This is why I have serious reservations about the reconciliation of Islam and political freedom. I have much respect for the strength of faith in the Muslim world and their resistance to Western liberal degeneracy, but politically, the situation looks bleak.

      Not that Western military intervention and occupation is helping the situation any. Thanks for taking part in the discussion. Have you commented before?

    2. Free will does not appear in the Bible. The English translation does, but the "free" is added. The words in the Greek NT are for will or voluntary, but there is no description as those wills being free. Not to get into the detail but you can see the limits of human will throughout the Bible. I suggest Ephesians 2, Romans 6, and Romans 9 to start. The Bible always speaks of God's sovereign election of people in Romans 8, Ephesians 2, etc.

      But at the same time the Bible is clear that each person is responsible for their actions. That is the point of Romans 9. God predestines and men are still held accountable. Not sure God predestines every act or human choice but there are many specific ones that He does as described in different parts of the Bible.

    3. A Texas Libertarian,

      First, yes, I have commented here before and I have learned much from this blog. As for your question, I will answer from a Christian perspective.

      It is said that the greatest mystery in life is the merging of the personal and the divine will. In the Bible, and in line with my comment, Joseph said to his brothers: "You meant it for evil but God meant it for good." —Genesis 50:20

      This is the doctrine of compatibilism:

      "Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are mutually compatible and that it is possible to believe in both without being logically inconsistent." —Wikipedia

      When I use the quote above, I am referring to "divine determinism".

      The same doctrine is in Islam in Ash'arite theology but I won't digress into that here. Basically, God works his acts through us in accordance with our nature. Here is the same idea from Aquinas, as regards free will:

      Free will

      Aquinas argues that there is no contradiction between God's providence and human free will:

      ... just as by moving natural causes [God] does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.
      — Summa, I., Q.83, art.1.
      [end quote]

      In a more direct answer to your question as alluding to evil, I will quote Franz Kafka, who incidentally was Jewish, ans was well acquainted with the suffering of the Jews:

      "Evil does not exist; once you have crossed the threshold, all is good. Once in another world, you must hold your tongue." —Franz Kafka

    4. I am recalling that what Aquinas meant by free will and what we commonly understand that phrase to mean aren't the same thing.

      For Aquinas, we have free will toward our purpose, or telos. The modern (and libertarian) view is that we have unconditional free will.

      I may not have this exactly right, but something like this.

      Beyond this - and especially regarding the idea of free will toward salvation...well, two-thousand years on and there is still no Christian consensus; the interpretations have only grown more varied.

    5. I think that perspective on will fits with the statements in Romans 6. We have a will aligned with our nature. The problem is we inherent a sin nature at birth.

    6. Free will is a misnomer. The term implies that an individual’s choices (and subsequent actions) are his own exclusively and that no one else has any right or authority to interfere. It means there are no limits or boundaries on human action or thought. Man, in essence, who exercises free will becomes God, able to create or destroy in the pursuit of his own destiny. Taken to the extreme, it means that there is no such thing as good, evil, or truth, but only what I decide. In fact, IF I am truly ‘free’, THEN I am able to decide that I am not limited between the options of good and evil, but can choose a third way, neither God nor Satan, but only MY version of truth. And who or what is to say otherwise?

      But there are limits. ‘Free’ will always exists within limits which are imposed by some other (P)erson or entity, outside of and not accountable to us. We cannot escape these limits and, in that sense, cannot ever experience free will. To a certain degree, we have always been and always will be slaves to the system. Freedom of choice within the limits imposed is a better description of the quandary than is free will.

      As people created in the image of God, we have Will, which is an integral part of human nature. As moral agents, we exercise that will by choosing between the options available to us. We are free to make our own decisions under the authority accorded to us, but are always restricted by the outer boundary, which cannot be broken through. Every choice that we make is accountable to that limit and has consequences, either positive or negative, both now and hereafter.

      The moral view of right and wrong is an acknowledgment of that fact. The NAP (non-aggression principle) is an attempt to come to grips with it. The religious concept of sin and forgiveness is built on it. The problem arises from our stubborn refusal to submit to it. Instead we prefer to be like Satan, whose desire is to be “as the Most High”, determining for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.

    7. Roger, as you say - we always must conform to something higher than or above us. Something or someone is in charge, making the rules.

      I think an additional hindrance (if you can call it that) to free will is how we are conditioned - our training, upbringing, society. We may think we are acting freely: "I am my own man!" But it is never true. I was about to say that maybe it was true for Jesus, yet we remember..."Not my will, but thy will be done."

      This is why the training of proper habits and virtues is so foundational to the idea of liberty.

      Finally, I recommend the video offered by Nat below, and I include the link again here for convenience:

    8. "Aquinas argues that there is no contradiction between God's providence and human free will" - Ahmed

      I could agree with that, of course it depends on exactly what it meant by "Providence" and "human free will". I see the situation is that 1) we cannot save ourselves 2) God does not save us against our will, 3) therefore, God offers His hand and His grace, but we have to decide to take it and live it.

      Here's an interesting line of thought this discussion has inspired in me: if we are created in the image of God, then our timeless virtues are also His, the only distinction is that we embody them imperfectly, and He embodies them perfectly.

      What good would the virtues of Hope and Faith be to God, if He didn't grant us free will? If He 'laid the tracks' for each of us in our lives, such that our decisions were meaningless, if everything is Predestined, what need would He have for Hope and Faith? If He does not possess the virtues, how then is He our perfect ideal?

      And wouldn't His faith indeed be greater than our own? Or perfect? We get to believe in Him; He gets to believe in us. Who is more worthy of faith?

      "The problem arises from our stubborn refusal to submit to it. Instead we prefer to be like Satan, whose desire is to be “as the Most High”, determining for ourselves what is right and what is wrong." - Roger

      I think we mean two different things by free will. I'm speaking to the reality that I can make a choice to a) eat toast, b) eat cereal or c) eat sausage and eggs for breakfast, and God really does not inhibit this choice (though He undoubtedly could). I can also choose to a) commit suicide b) cheat on my wife, or c) worship Satan, and though God would perhaps try to dissuade me from doing these things, through the Holy Spirit, I could still choose and carry out any of them, and God would not stop me.

      That is what I mean by free will. We must choose the path of God, but all other paths remain open to us (though not without consequences, both here and in the hereafter).

    9. I tend to think of myself as not particularly prone to ‘theory’ and more likely to indulge in ‘reality’, until something like the issues of free will and predestination come along. In reality, as ATL points out, we do have the freedom to make choices in our daily lives, both moral and amoral. This is true and I am in agreement. In theory, as I stated earlier, our choices are restrained by overarching limits and, therefore, we are not perfectly free, but will always be subordinate. I see no reason to change this. However, these are simply differing ways of looking at the issue. I can honestly say that I think both of us are correct in our perspective. I am quite sure that neither of us are wrong, although I will “repent” if someone can convince me that I am.

      The controversy arises when we move away from the moderate balance between predestination on one hand and free will on the other. Both these are valid concepts and have support from Scripture, but we have to be careful not to veer off into an extreme in either direction. Some of the trouble I have with free will is that I have heard too many well-meaning Christians state things which boil down to the idea that “...if we don’t have free will, then we are robots.” My aversion to ‘free will’ may be a reaction to that dogmatic statement, since it tends to diminish God’s overall, predestinating power. Do I think that I am a robot? Absolutely not, but neither will I go so far as to say that God does not interfere in my life against my will. God did not, as deists believe, simply wind up my life and turn me loose without any further participation in it. Neither does He control it so closely that I am reduced to nothing more than a string of ones and zeroes. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

      Bernando Kastrup recently published an article in Scientific American on this topic which I found to be somewhat helpful. I am not endorsing nor contradicting his conclusions at all.

    10. Roger, you have said it well regarding the point of controversy among Christians.

      As you say, we can find Scripture that leads us down either path. Whether predestination or free will (or somewhere in between), we are left to act - and we have the free will to act.

      Thank you.

    11. Roger, I like how you put it. The quotation captures the idea well.

      "In theory, as I stated earlier, our choices are restrained by overarching limits and, therefore, we are not perfectly free, but will always be subordinate."

      The way I think about it is we are free to choose what we want. But that is deceiving. Because the point is that our wants are constrained. Slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness in Romans 6 describes the situation in a nutshell.

      That is open-ended though. How constrained is constrained. I can choose sin or righteousness in a single decision point. The Bible isn't talking about that as seen by experience. But there is an overarching course of life which is bent toward God or away. We have no control over that. God is in control. Does that mean I am not really choosing things? No? Does that mean God is controlling what color shirt I wear on Tuesday? I don't think so. The Bible definitely doesn't require that.

      But our wills want certain things and those things win out eventually. Where God ends and human will starts is unknown but there is a line there somewhere.

      At the sametime the Bible is clear that humans are responsible for their actions, which is clear from Romans 9. I don't think freedom of will is needed for that. It doesn't matter why we want sin, just that we do want sin.

  3. The following may be helpful - ESPECIALLY about 1:11:30 where Jean-Luc Marion weighs in (you may just want to fast forward to there):

    What is Freedom? Some Reflections From Augustine

    Jean-Luc Marion has a recent book on Augustine, “In the Self’s Place”

    Also John 8:31-42 - And Augustine’s Associated Tractate XLI (and XLII):

  4. Faith is a gift through which God raises up from death.

    Ephesians 2
    2 And you were dead n your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

  5. The foreknown and predestined are Jesus' brethren. They are the ones who are justified. They are the ones who receive all things from God. God's elect.

    Romans 8
    28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

    32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

    1. C.S Lewis writes, in Mere Christianity: "The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start."

      After 2000 years, Christians have yet to come to a common understanding of the word "somehow." I would prefer not to try and settle this controversy here.

    2. I am not trying to. What I am trying to do is show the relevant verses so that we are all looking at the primary document about the related topic.

      We may not all interpret the verses the same, but my goal is that we are all interpreting the Scriptures themselves.

    3. Fair enough RMB. Perhaps I am overly sensitive or concerned about the threads falling into such discussions. This just happens to be one of the more difficult / controversial topics for believers.

      Almost every view on the subject on who and how one is saved can be supported by some or another passage in Scripture, I suppose.

    4. I agree there is disagreement and will be sensitive myself.

      I have presented relevant passages. Of course they show a viewpoint that I share.

      If others have verses that show an opposite viewpoint, I am interested to read them. I have reviewed those verses myself already, but am always interested to hear other's ideas and emphasis. I know up front there will be disagreement. That is okay. We can all get along and learn together.

      I will not bring up issues on this blog because I know the purpose of your writing but if issues are raised I am game to discuss them.

    5. Mr. M.,

      "Fair enough RMB. Perhaps I am overly sensitive or concerned about the threads falling into such discussions. This just happens to be one of the more difficult / controversial topics for believers."

      This is precisely why I have/will not comment on this topic, though I continue to read.

  6. I like the definitions of Courage and, while I agree with your comments on that, I think there is more.

    For instance, getting back on a horse after you've been bucked off takes courage. Or, as John Wayne put it, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." It takes courage to jump out of an airplane with nothing between you and certain death except a parachute, which might or might not open properly. It takes courage to stand in front of a group of people for the first time and give a speech if your knees are knocking together.

    There are innumerable other possible examples. They all exhibit the same characteristic--the innate drive to overcome fear. Without the courage to face fear, no progress at all is possible.

    Courage, by itself, however is dangerous. It must be accompanied by wisdom, temperance, even hope and faith. As long as the 'courageous act' is personal, these are all that are necessary. Love and justice only play a part when others are involved and will benefit, as you have described above.

    1. I couldn't resist posting this story about my granddaughter: Willow, (2 years, 7 months), has been with us for the last two days while her Mommy and Daddy were at hospital with the new baby, "Daisy."

      Today being my last day with her, and myself quite exhausted, this morning Willow and I went to the park; ostensibly for her to play, but actually for my hope that she would use up some of the boundless energy she has and I don't! The park had some "old-fashioned" playground equipment that is not often seen these days, being deemed I suppose too dangerous for the little ones, e.g. there are teeter-totters, and a do-it-yourself merry-go-round. We played around on both of those, as well as Willow "riding" on those little animals that sit on coiled springs. She rode the horse.

      Eventually she got around to going down the baby slide a few times. Then she eyed the "big" slide. I'm guessing the rungs were at least ten feet up and the slide curved around twice on the way down. I was a little nervous on her first climb because it looked awfully high. She climbed up slowly and carefully, but after the first time went again and again. On the eighth time up (I counted), she made a misstep on the third rung and lost her balance. She nearly fell but made a save and continued climbing up. I mumbled, "good to get back on the horse." She heard my mumble and while continuing to climb, repeated, "get back on the horse."

      When she got to the bottom, I thought I should explain to her what is meant by "getting back on the horse" and how that when one is learning something new, and makes a mistake, it's best to get right back on topic and try again. When I told her this, she looked very seriously at me and walked back over to the little horse on the coiled spring and rode it some more! After that she went back to the big slide and rode down ten more times.

      She pointed out to me that she did get back on the horse!

    2. Awesome! Thank you, Unknown.