Greetings to all, and welcome, to this, the Lunar Festival, hosted by the Children of the Eclipse.
What is the eclipse? Surely, such a mere coincidence of alignment cannot yet be of such significance? I am sure you are familiar with the term, an occasional occurrence in the other-realm. Yet, I speak not of the event of celestial alignment; I do not speak of the eclipse of the sun, but the eclipse of men, and of women, and of beast, and of tree. For what is the eclipse, but when vision of that is occluded, and all that remains is the effulgent corona? The eclipse of men, and women, and beast, and tree alike is much the same; occlude it, and what persists, but the virtue, that which is the all-encompassing of good traits?
It were good, then, to pause but a moment, and observe the corona, that which crowns each being of virtue. Like the eclipse, the Children of the Eclipse must be among those that would bring out the virtue in themselves, and of others, and nurture it, so that it grow strong.
How, then, may one shine of virtue? It were neither easy, nor simple, and yet, for one with it, natural, and unconscious. He that has strength of will, and unfailing moral compass, he cannot fail to be radiant of virtue, though he may be weak of flesh, or imperfect of figure. Such a one is greater than he, who hath no virtue, though he may have strength of flesh, and untarnished figure, for he is easily turned, and becometh a tool of both good and evil, each engaged in an endless war to claim him as their own. As it were, such a man without virtue were empty, a vessel without inhabitor.
Therefore, I must stress, and stress greatly, these two:
A strong force of will may allow one to achieve many great things, through persistence, through diligence, even through suffering, if it were fated. Nurture, then, a strong will, one that cannot and will not bend. Let your will not be engrained in sand, of the beach, that is swept by the tide, and the wind, but upon that which is stable, and unchanging, as stone. It were easy to chisel in the sand, a mere sweep of the fingers, but to chisel in stone takes persistence, diligence, and oft-times, suffering. Train long, and train hard, not only of your sword, but also of your will. Such is the way of the virtuous.
Furthermore, a good moral compass may arise from many things. It is folly to force the values of one upon another, but the essence of good is still good, and the essence of evil, still evil. To tell the difference, some reason, some feel, some pray. All of these may lead to fair judgment, yet, none of these is infallible. There is occasion to temper justice with mercy, or to pit the life of one against another, or to succumb to passion. None of these is inherently evil, but there is circumstance for which they may be, or may not be.