Virtues in Paradise

Linda Kavelin-Popov is co-founder of The Virtues Project and best-selling author of ‘The family virtues guide’, ‘A pace of grace’, ‘Graceful endings’ and other books on virtues. In this regular column, she explores virtues in the Cook Islands context. You can find out more about her work at or


Are you familiar with the blurt?

It is one of my least favorite and most dire old habits.

The idea of the A-type personality was popular some years ago, referring to someone who had to get all A’s in school, drove themselves mercilessly, and had to get it all done, whatever it was.

The medical conference on Aitutaki earlier this week marked the 20th anniversary of these conferences so generously sponsored by Dr Joseph Williams, aka “Papa Joe”.

Does your head start to spin with all the undone tasks on your “to do” list?

It took a life-threatening energy illness in my early 50s – post-polio syndrome, to give me the wake-up call I needed to create balance in my life.

Have you ever noticed that we, as humans, seem a bit uneasy about self-care? Do real men and strong women even need such a thing?

Kia Orana from the “almost mid-most” heart of the Ocean which is Rarotonga in the Cook Islands (Aitutaki has the official title).

The 30th anniversary of The Virtues Project, founded by my husband Dan Popov, brother John Kavelin, and me is being celebrated on line this week.

There are treasures all around us here in paradise.

Leaving it deepens our gratitude for these gifts. We spent three weeks in the US awaiting renewed passports, visiting family, taking care of Virtues Project initiatives - and shopping, of course.

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