Aristotle wrote that. And I was reminded of it in the aftermath of the recent U.S. election. Elizabeth Farrelly notes that “[Americans] voted for Obama. Not just because he was black, or supported climate action or gay rights. Not just for the fabulous speeches and the good teeth, though all those things counted.
“They voted for him because, across the world now, electorates are way ahead of the politicians. For decades we’ve been forced to vote for people we despise, appointing leaders we know to be moral pygmies. In good times, in the fat years, we put up with it. But when the chips are down – this is the amazing part – we can make hard choices.”
Obama knows this, as evidenced by the clincher in his acceptance speech: “It [the hard choices] can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.” Humanity now needs to show courage and vote for sacrifice because as Aristotle says, without it there is no other virtue.