As I grow older... because, you know, I am so old... I am beginning to realize something of great value and importance. I have run into so many people who are so highly esteemed as "holy" or "very religious" or "very conservative" or something along those lines... but it has occurred to me that they are many times missing something very essential, which is just the bare bones of being a human being, knowing how to react, how to deal, and how to speak with and treat others.
It has been said, "First the man, then the saint" and I am finding this more and more true. You must first work so hard on your human character before really achieving the many virtues you would like. (although, yes they are tied together in many ways). I am looking first to myself for this... where am I lacking? I cannot in fact teach my children how to be patient, humble, loving or kind without some basic qualities sewn in them. They need to know how to have tact, how to use the right words to respond, how to react to when they are angry, how to avoid being rude, how to shake someone's hand or look someone in the eye when speaking to them.
Deeper virtue comes later. It is first simple and very human. Being a saint, yes, a goal, but being able to attract people to yourself so they may find Christ there... very human.