"Worldly Virtues" is an elegant collection of reflections on the great classic virtues by which we may endeavor to live our lives. Johannes Gaertner's philosophical musings shed fresh, contemporary light on old-world virtues, from "sensitivity," "beauty," and "prudence" to "compassion" "intellect," "tact," and the value of "absurdity." Often witty, sometimes dry, and always insightful, the simplicity of these meditations belies a depth of emotion and richness of meaning:
"Elegance arises where the effort it took to achieve it has become invisible."
"Fairness may be a purely civic virtue, having little to do with charity, love, or mercy, but until all men are angels, fairness is the nearest thing to goodness.
"What people worry about is the physical beauty one receives as a gift. They should worry about the beauty one creates or destroys."
The author, a professor with a worldview enriched by a long life in many cultures, assembled these entries over the course of many years; his daughter found them, published them as a Christmas gift to him, and the book went on to become an underground bestseller in hardcover. This is the first paperback edition to be released in the United States.