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Oh, It’s Tuesday: What’s Your Favorite Virtue [Proust Questionnaire]

So on Saturday, I was reading a book that mentioned the Proust Questionnaire. Now I’ve always been a huge fan of the Proust Questionnaire, and I used to be sort of obsessed with it, back in college when my future was wide open and I thought I knew just about everything. In fact, I used it in lieu of a grad school essay to several Creative Writing MFA programs and got rejected from every single one of them — which as it turned out was a good thing, as an MFA at the age of 22 would have been wasted on me.

proustHowever, while slogging through my 20s, I had pretty much forgotten about the PQ in a cloud of angst and seemingly fluid values. But upon hearing of it again on Saturday, my first thought was “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to do a Proust Questionnaire over the course of a few Tuesdays?” Think of it as a re-examination of our values.

So here we are with the first question: “What Is Your Favorite Virtue?” Now, I wish very much that I had kept that college PQ, b/c I can’t remember for the life of me how I answered any of these questions.

But as for now, I can say without a doubt that my absolute favorite virtue is bravery. I am most proud of myself not when I achieve, but when I do brave things. It is harder to be brave than to achieve in my opinion. And if a talented person hasn’t achieved, I think the answer to their why not can often be found where bravery is not. In fact, I suspect I will be haunted to my dying day not by the things I didn’t do, but the things I didn’t do because I just wasn’t brave enough to try.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been making a considered effort to “do things anyway” when I’m scared, and man has that paid off. I’m a little angry that I didn’t figure out that I should go down the roads I most fear as opposed to the easy ones sooner. As an artist, I often took what I thought would be the most fun (and therefore easiest) path only to find myself in depressing places. Now if I see a road overgrown with weeds, with a barely detectable path, and monstrous trees looming about, I’m like, “Well, that’s must be the road to happiness” and then I force myself down it, second-guessing myself every step of the way. That’s why bravery is my favorite virtue.

Now your turn. What’s your favorite virtue and why? Sound off in the comments.