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Fake and Make
Have you ever heard of the phrase: “Fake it ‘til you make it?”
There’s a negative connotation to it, mainly because of the ‘faking’ part. No one likes a ‘faker’ — someone who pretends to be something they’re not.
But, in our pursuit of virtue, we can actually use this principle to our advantage.
Becoming men of virtue is something that we must work (hard) at our entire lives. It takes daily commitment, ‘grinding,’ and grunt work. And, as we probably know, virtue is a habit, not just a single action. For example, one act of courage doesn’t make a man courageous. It’s the habit of acting courageously that makes a man courageous.
So, for virtues that we do not yet possess, there’s a bit of ‘playing the part’, even before we have the habit.
Simply put, if we want to be a just man, we need to start acting like one. In a sense, we need to start ‘faking it’ by completing just acts.
Now, it’s worth noting that by ‘faking it,’ that doesn’t mean outright lying or pretending to be a just man when you have no intention of actually being just — this would really be faking virtue.
But, by ‘pretending’ to be a just man, we begin to genuinely act justly, turning those actions into a habit…voila! This is the difference between the person we are, and the person we want to become.