There is something to be said for instituting a virtuous or meritorious endeavor. It takes determination and patience and it often pays off in a sense of ease or contentment. Some even turn virtue and merit into a full-bore occupation -- encouraging or threatening others with a metaphorical big stick ... be virtuous or get screwed in one way or another... accumulating merit is the way to go.
But when it comes to what is called virtue, I think I think that virtue is only as good as the willingness and ability to set it aside, to let it go utterly. If you can't let it go, how could you ever discover what you were holding in the first place?