Posted by Suzanne Rook

The Virtues Project

Kymn Anderson and George Wickstrom shared information about a project they are both involved in, The Virtues Project-Faribault. The project began as an idea of Faribault’s Cindy Diessner during her participation in the Chamber’s Faribault’s Future class.
 
The project is part of The Virtues Project, a global initiative that began 30 years ago. It is meant to inspire the inclusion of the virtues in everyday life. People in 135 countries have been involved in The Virtues Project, which are available online, in physical cards and an app. The virtues are found in every culture, religion and ideology. The project employs Five Strategies, resources that create a culture of caring, Anderson said, noting that every person is born with the virtues, but that they need to be developed.  They favor no agenda, ideology or religion. Cards designed for adults use quotes, some from religious texts. Those intended for children do not include religious quotes/verbiage.
 
Wickstrom shared personal experiences, one about his Aunt Marion, a teacher who was a mentor and guide during his childhood. Marion, he said, displayed the virtues in her everyday life, and was able to make an impact on a great number of her students by maintaining a correspondence with them.  He also shared a favorite story about founding father Benjamin Franklin, and the 13 Virtues list he created. The virtues, if mastered, Franklin believed, would help him become a better person and correct behavior he found undesirable in himself.
 
Anderson explained that The Virtues Project – Faribault has been part of several initiatives since its inception. They include the Virtues Trail, Virtue of the Week in the Faribault Daily News and a two-day class in 2016 that trained 68 area residents to be facilitators.  “It has become a real passion for some of us in the community,” said Anderson. “We believe we can change the world.”
 
Wickstrom gifted each club member a code so they could download the Virtues Project app free.