Flexibility is the ability to adapt and change amid the fluctuating circumstances of life. We go with the flow, seeing the choices, challenges, and opportunities in all that happens. We do not insist on our own way. We are open to the opinions and feelings of others. When the unexpected comes, we rise to the challenge with resilience and confidence. We are willing to change unproductive habits. We seek imaginative new ways to do things. The winds of change may bend us but they only make us stronger. We are willing to grow. We enjoy spontaneity. We welcome surprises.


I bend but do not break

— Jean de la Fontaine

 The Practice of Flexibility

  • I adapt when change is called for.
  • I trust the course of my life.
  • I find creative ways to solve problems.
  • I accept things I cannot change.
  • I am in a constant state of growth.
  • I am open to life’s unexpected wonders.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

The virtue of flexibility in a family is shown through its members’ willingness and capacity to adapt, compromise, and adjust when confronted with evolving situations and differing viewpoints. It is demonstrated through open communication, where family members actively listen to each other’s views and consider alternative approaches when conflicts arise.

Flexibility means accommodating shifting schedules and unexpected events and understanding when plans must be altered. In a flexible family, individuals prioritize the well-being of the family unit over personal rigidity, embracing change as an opportunity for growth and unity rather than a source of tension.

Balancing Flexibility

To maintain a healthy balance of flexibility, several virtues can serve as guiding lights:

      • Resilience: Resilience complements flexibility by providing the strength and determination to bounce back from setbacks. It allows us to remain adaptable in the face of adversity, finding opportunities for growth and learning amidst challenges.
      • Discernment: Discernment helps us navigate the fine line between being too accommodating and standing firm in our convictions. It allows us to assess situations thoughtfully, discerning when to bend and when to hold steady to our principles.
      • Steadfastness: Steadfastness provides a solid foundation for flexibility to thrive. It allows us to maintain a sense of groundedness amidst change, ensuring we remain true to ourselves even as we adapt to new circumstances.
      • Open-mindedness: Open-mindedness fosters receptivity to new ideas and perspectives, enriching our capacity for flexibility. It encourages us to embrace diversity and engage in constructive dialogue, expanding our horizons and fueling creative problem-solving.

By cultivating these balancing virtues, we can harness the power of flexibility to navigate life’s ebbs and flows with grace and purpose, embracing change as an opportunity for growth and transformation.