“Be inspired by great men lives through their famous passages”

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

7/28/2010

A Legacy of Character

Character is who we are when we believe no one is watching. It is the foundation of our personality, the facilitator for all of our decisions, and the basis for our reputations. How we act, think and feel in any situation is determined by our character.

There are Six Pillars of Character. They are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Each of these represents traits that comprise a solid foundation of good character, and serve as a basis for developing a system of core values which determine an individual’s actions. By recognizing these traits as positive indicators of good character, we must also acknowledge that each of them has a negative counterpart. For example, if trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, loyalty and fairness exist, then so must dishonesty, betrayal and deceit. A good character is created by deliberately developing positive traits. Sadly, ignoring or denying the power of our influence and allowing our negative characteristics to be demonstrated can also develop a legacy of bad character.

Modeling Positive Values

Character and conduct of our children reflect the character and conduct of our nation/community. For example:
  • Adults have the responsibility to model ethical values and promote the development of good character.
  • A direct indicator of what our children will become is found in the way we live in our adult communities.
  • Children need to be shown that there is no right way to do a wrong thing.


Life Rulers

At the present time we have almost no human sovereigns or rulers with absolute power. We do, however, allow some influences to take over our lives. I call them Life Rulers. They include:


Drugs * Alcohol * Selfishness * Ego-vanity * Jealousy * Resentment * Entitlement

And when that happens, those characteristics become our legacy. No matter how we try to deny or excuse them, if they rule our behavior, they rule us!

The choices we make and the values we hold are determined by our own understanding of what is right and wrong. Armed with that knowledge and the courage to do what is right, we can change, and leave imprints of character where there were none before.




"Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared."

Every day we are faced with challenges that put our character to the test. In our homes, and at our work, we face situations that can either bring out the best or the worst in us. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do requires effort, and has a cost. When we are disrespected, treated unfairly, cheated, betrayed or lied to, it is frequently easier to respond in kind. The more difficult response is an uncompromising commitment to our values and to rise above the situation with a moral and right response.  When we succeed, the message sent is that regardless of the cost or effort, character will prevail. Children emulate those they respect. So do employees. We earn their respect when we show them that our responses are not the right ones by accident – that we determine our responses ahead of time by aligning our actions with our values.


It is important to understand the source of influences in our lives and the following questions will help:
1. What good character traits do you feel  you inherited from people in your life?
2. What did they do to demonstrate those traits to you?
3. What negative character traits do you feel you  inherited? How were they demonstrated?
4. Which traits would you choose to keep? Which would you choose to change?
5. Which new character traits would you choose to develop?

The most important, and most difficult step, in creating a legacy of character is having the courage to change what we know is wrong, and take a stand for what we know is right. It takes time and hard work, but there is no substitute for the satisfaction it brings.

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