Cathyn Fitzgerald on


AElflaed note: This was lifted from Cathyn's website so I could edit and preserve it. It might still be out there elsewhere as well.

In looking at the Knightly Virtues, there are those who will attempt to rank them in order of importance, and I will freely confess that I am one of these. Strangely I can only rank the one I feel is least important, and the one that is most important, and I will write of one of these now. Franchise occupies the last place on my list of virtues, which is intentional. Knowing the other eight virtues is critical to understanding Franchise. Franchise is the virtue of practicing the other eight virtues without any thought of profit or personal gain. Franchise is the purest motive, selflessness in every action.

In modern terms, Franchise is the polar opposite of "what's in it for me?" This is not to say that when practicing the virtues one is wrong to consider personal or spiritual growth, which are the real essence of practicing the virtues. Becoming virtuous for virtue's sake alone is the goal. To be virtuous for the sake of having others notice you being virtuous, or to win acclaim and renown lacks Franchise.

To cite a real world example of this, let's briefly examine the Knightly Virtue of Largesse. Largesse is sharing with others within the prudent bounds of one's resources. Making a charitible donation to the United Way is one form of Largesse, which in some lists of virtues is actually called Charity. If you made that charitible donation out of a genuine concern for your fellow man, you are also practicing Franchise. If, however, you made that donation for the tax break, that is the "what's in it for me?" part of your generosity, and singularly does not display Franchise.

As you think on this virtue, it is clear to see that this is the most important of the virtues, as one's motivation for being virtuous is as important as being virtuous itself is.

other franchise and other Cathyn

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