"Constancy is the foundation of virtues." Francis Bacon.
We rarely hear the word 'constancy' any more. And that's too bad. Because constancy is deeply connected with virtue. But wait.
We rarely hear the world 'virtue' any more, either. And that's also too bad. From the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers who thought deeply about the challenges of life and the strengths we need in order to face them well and prevail, we have some great insights regarding both virtue and constancy.
Virtues are just strengths of character, like courage. They are also habits. A patient man is a man who has the habit of patience. A courageous woman has a habit, or deep disposition, to respond to danger with bravery. No virtue is a one shot deal. Each of the great virtues requires repeated exercise, or a form of constancy, in our response to the world.
Spontaneity gets maybe too much good press. It can be a source of creativity, and adventure, and great fun, but without a foundation of virtue, even creativity can be destructive. Who wants to be around a creative sadist? And so, spontaneity has its proper place within a context of constancy, the foundation of a reliable character. Not all sameness is boring. Not all predictability is a guise of stagnation. A deep moral constancy is the basis for any good journey through this world. Think about that , and examine yourself for that constancy of soul that will give you strength. And then go boldly and virtuously forth.