Understanding is having clear insight into ideas and feelings. We thoughtfully seek to comprehend the full truth. We are mindful of what is most important. We are deeply present to others with compassion and accuracy, helping them to discern their own clarity. We go the extra mile to put ourselves in another’s shoes in order to forgive. We treasure knowledge, and use our minds as tools to explore what is real and true. We cherish the ability to see the whole picture.

In Family Life

The virtue of understanding within a family is exemplified through open and empathetic communication, active listening, and a genuine effort to comprehend each other’s perspectives and emotions. It entails the ability to put oneself in family members’ shoes, seeking to grasp their experiences, thoughts, and feelings without judgment.

Understanding in a family setting also involves patience and tolerance, especially during disagreements or challenging moments, where family members strive to see beyond differences and find common ground. This virtue fosters a sense of unity, trust, and emotional support within the family, creating an environment where individuals feel heard, validated, and valued, ultimately strengthening the bonds that hold them together.


If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.

— Vincent Van Gogh

 The Practice of Understanding

  • I reflect on the meaning of ideas.
  • I have empathy for others’ feelings.
  • I am mindful of meaning.
  • I am a discerning listener.
  • I call on empathy in order to forgive.
  • I value knowledge and perceptiveness.