Today, I went to my local mall, as I was walking through the mall and all of the dead shops inside I passed by a small table and some people handing out pamphlets for the Special Olympics. Before I could catch myself I judged that the interaction was going to be unpleasant and had concocted a convenient lie to get through it. As I approached the table the woman spoke and I blurted out my lie, (something to the effect that I had a cousin and I was a regular supporter). After that she said thank you and we went on and the interaction was over. Except it wasn't, not only did I act without virtue, I had missed an opportunity to do something to make the world better.
It nagged at me, all these months of studying virtue and journalling about my desires to live a Stoic life and when a tiny moment of opportunity came I didn't just blink, I dropped my sword and ran away. I will reflect on this for a while to come and all the things I can learn from it. I came home and made a donation to Special Olympics online. A very small gesture for a very worthy cause.
There are no little white lies, you either are virtuous or you are not. Today, I am not.... but I still want to be.