For almost one hundred years, the Latin words, "Vires, Artes, Mores" have been the guiding philosophy behind Florida State University. Vires signifies strength of all kinds - moral, physical, and intellectual; Artes alludes to the beauty of intellectual pursuits as exemplified in skill, craft, or art; and Mores refers to character, custom, or tradition. Describe how one or more of the values embodied in these concepts are reflected in your life.
When reflecting over my life, in order to search for the effects of "Vires, Artes, Mores" that have been most apt in describing me, I find it quite strange trying to explain the kind of person I am when limited to just three words. Still, for nearly a hundred years, these words have guided students at Florida State University. For nearly all of my life these principles have guided me as well.
Vires, understood as strength, is something I have had to acquire in my life on my own. As a child of divorce and a latch key kid, I was often left without supervision. For most of the time I spent at home I was the only person in the house. Being alone all the time forced me to acquire a diligence that originated from my own desires. All of the things I had to do to get to where I am now were accomplished on my own. I feel like my strength is the ability to stand on my own. I can not remember a time when my mother or father said "you need to do your homework," or "you need to do well on your test." Perhaps if I had not been so obstinate in my desire to do well in class I would have heard such comments.
Artes, which I would define as the appreciation of ability, is something I've strived to do ever since my childhood. I would classify myself as a "wannabee" artist. I draw for fun and usually am able to create something people enjoy seeing. I also love to see art from other people. I am not bound by the restriction of vision to perceive art. Words, music, dreams, everything involving the human mind can be perceived and understood as art. Even in ones own suffering you can find appreciation for the simple human capability of being alive. If I had to pick that which I have most appreciated in my life however, I would say that, even if the nature of art is to be ubiquitous, the greatest appreciation I have gained was during my time in the choir, and during quiet nights at home teaching myself to play the guitar.
The last word, Mores, I would identify most closely with the word conformity. I would say that this word doesn't apply to me in the conventional sense. I know that the description given is that of "character," but this description implies that an individual other than yourself is that which defines your merit. I conform to the standards which benefit myself and society. I do not conform to rules that I see as detrimental to society. I am not the kind of person who runs a red light when no one is around. I am the person who watches for traffic and makes sure that all rules that are imposed upon society for a reason are followed. I understand that things which are obligatory are only this way because we all agree they must be.