“The Virtues Project™ is a model global program of all cultures.”
UN Secretariat, International Year of the Family
ABOUT PHYLLIS CHEW
Dr Phyllis G.L. Chew taught at various public schools in Singapore before her professorial tenure at the National Institute of Education. She is a recipient of the Teacher of the Year award, the Teaching Excellence award as well as the Distinguished Long Service Award for volunteerism.
She became involved in the language-based Virtues Project™ in 1997 after attending a workshop by the founders of the Project - Linda and Dan Popov. Through the Virtues workshops, she inspires individuals to live more meaningful and joyful lives, assists families to bring up responsible children who live lives of integrity. She accompanies educators to create caring and high performing learning and helps leaders achieve excellence in the workplace.
Our education system must nurture Singapore citizens of good character so that everyone has the moral resolve to withstand an uncertain future, and a strong sense of responsibility to contribute to the success of Singapore and the well-being of fellow-Singaporeans.
Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister of Education
I fully support The Virtues Project™ which promotes such universal values as love, kindness, justice, and service. May you be successful in your endeavour.
The Dalai Lama
Oprah Winfrey said of The Family Virtues Guide,
“Parents are always saying children don’t come with a guide book. This is one.
This helps you get them on the right track for leading a good life.”
These practices apply from the moment a baby is born, to companioning people at the end of life.
At every season, the practice of love, patience, compassion, excellence, devotion, and joy allows each act and interaction to be meaningful.
THE 5 STRATEGIES
1. SPEAK THE LANGUAGE
Language shapes character. The way we speak to one another, and the words we use, have great power to discourage or to inspire.
Learn how to speak the language of virtues when acknowledging, guiding and correcting to bring out the best in one another. When we speak the language of virtues we replace shaming and blaming of one another with gentle reminders of who we are and
how we want to be.
2. RECOGNIZE TEACHABLE MOMENTS
Recognizing the gifts and life lessons in our daily challenges helps us to cultivate our character. In everything there is virtue, either virtues being practiced or virtues needed. When we see any situation through the lens of virtues, we become more aware of the virtues we need to call on and the virtues that are already guiding us.
3. SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES
Boundaries keep us safe. In The Virtues Project™ boundaries are based on virtues. What virtues are needed? How do we practice them?
This practice creates clarity and a climate of peace and safety, in all of our relationships -- at home, in school, and in the community.
This strategy is needed when we have a problem in any area of our life. Personal boundaries help us to build healthy relationships, and protect our time, our energy and our health.
4. HONOR THE SPIRIT
This strategy begins with respect for the dignity of each person and encourages us to make time for wellness, reflection, reverence, and beauty. It is expressing what is meaningful in our lives by participating in the arts, honoring special life events, time in nature, and sharing our stories with each other. What brings you joy?
5. OFFER COMPANIONING
Learn how to truly listen and be present to another person.
This is the strategy to use when someone else has a problem.
One of the greatest gifts we have to give to another is our presence.
By being deeply present and listening with both compassion and detachment, we help others to empty their cup and find their own answers. This approach empowers others to discern their teachable moments and to reflect on their virtues.
SONG COMPOSED ON THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY (2021) OF THE VIRTUES PROJECT™