Character-One Thing We Need To Work On

Do you remember when you were an adolescent? That time of narcissism due to our developmental issues? That time that we recall and shudder at the stupid things we did?

This is a time when we should begin developing character–something that will define our life.

Does it seem like society over the past 20 years or so encourages adolescent behaviour well past 17? What are we teaching adolescents? Do we teach that they should continue the “me-first” mentality. Seeking to emulate the Kardashians rather than someone like, say, Gen. Colin Powell?
This article from Big Think caught my eye yesterday. “We Need To Develop Character Instead of Celebrity,” by Derek Beres.

In it, he says:

Language is our major form of communication. How we use it shapes our identities; we understand our societal and familial roles through the language we use. According to David Brooks, there are words we need to reinvigorate. They all have to do with better understanding our moral codes. By banishing words such as “sin,” “virtue,” “character,” and “evil” from general conversation, he claims “that does not make life any less moral.” In The Road to Character, he continues, 

It just means we have obscured the inescapable moral core of life with shallow language.

In his fantastic biography of important historical figures, Brooks repeatedly returns to the need of cultivating humility to overturn the sins of arrogance and pride. Children are being educated to succeed, but the focus of that success is monetary and status-driven. It has nothing to do with the singular trait Calvin’s father kept returning to during the decade-long life of Calvin and Hobbes. 

I think of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man. Was it perhaps that the young man had just not matured yet? Perhaps he had not developed character? 

So I wonder, what example are we leaving as a legacy?

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