CHARACTER PROTECTS LIFE Character: According to the dictionary, character means 1. a distinctive trait; 2. behavior typical of a person or group; 3. moral strength; 4. reputation. Character is an evaluation of a particular individual’s moral qualities. It can also imply a variety of attributes including the existence of lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits.
When someone is a moral character, it is primarily referring to the assemblage of qualities that distinguish one individual from another. Character is who we really are. It’s what we do when no one is looking. It’ s the accumulation of thoughts, values, words and actions. These become the habits that comprise our character. That character determines our destiny. Six pillars of character: A person of character thinks right and does right according to core universal values that define the qualities of a good person: They are •Trustworthiness Respect •responsibility •fairness •caring •citizenship The CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition calls these the Six Pillars of Character. Whatever we call them, though, our role as character developers is to guide young people’s thoughts, words, actions and habits toward these values, which all people share, regardless of other differences. Primary character building force: The family is the primary character-building force in a child’s life, and character education is a major family obligation.
It’s a parent’s job to help our kids engage the world with as much trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship as possible. This challenge becomes more manageable by taking a simple approach and involving the full community in sending a common message about the standards of good character. Humility and character are the two important steps of true education. If we have our children’s best interests at heart as parents and teachers, we will make the development of their character a high priority.
Good character consists of knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good–habits of the mind, habits of the heart, and habits of action. All three are necessary for leading a moral life; all three make up moral maturity. It also helps to identify other major character influences in anyone’s life: • people we admire • people who spend time with us • reactions we observe • goals • expectations • games • friends • life experiences • stories we hear • books we read • words we hear • music we hear TV shows and movies How character is related to life: Heraclitus said that “A man’s character is his fate. ” There are certain personal traits that can lead to a good life. Psychology guru Martin Seligman says that these character qualities foster good physical and mental health and so improve our quality of living over all. Instilling them early will set a person up for life. The good news is that we can all learn and develop these qualities and a good life is available to every one of us, and at any age.