A person’s character can be found in every aspect of their life. Whether they are conducting business in the board room or hitting the books in the classroom, the essence of a person will manifest itself, good or bad. When I think about the many lessons that I was taught at home, among family members, from teachers and community leaders, I clearly remember learning about how to treat others respectfully, use kind words, help the elderly and serve others humbly. Today, I often get the feeling that somewhere, down the line, those lessons were lost in the last few generations.
Today I see and hear things that cause my heart and ears to hurt and my insides to cringe. I hear vulgarities, for example, not only coming from the media or as I walk past an angry adult on the street, but I also hear such language from the mouths of those seemingly coming from the womb. I have watched a generation leave the rich lessons they were taught behind, in search of the next episode of “Drama”…Housewives, Dancing Stars or Singing Idols and Voices. Television and computers have become our children’s caregivers and social media have become our BFF. I have witnessed the youngest of our generation disrespect and shame us, only for us to later enable them to live a life of false entitlement and ignorance. What happened to manners? What happened to the “Golden Rule”? What happened to the mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers who strategically took the time to teach wisdom, justice and service and demanded respect so that these valuable gifts could be passed on to the next generation?
Each of us is challenged daily to maximize our character as we navigate through the day to day issues of life. And it is not always easy, given the problems we face in our ever-evolving, global society. Nevertheless, it is not enough to just focus on ourselves and forget those who rely on us to show them how to fulfill purpose and destiny in life. My challenge to anyone who reads this is to assess yourself and then take a look at your circle of influence or potential sphere of influence. How can you create positive change? Do you possess strong character? If not, why? What steps can you take today to improve your ability to be a better parent, friend, caregiver and citizen? In what ways can you be caring, respectful or trustworthy? When was the last time you made time to share a word of wisdom or teach someone else, in particular, a youth or young adult how to do something or to say something that brought value to their lives?
Make a commitment today to first, develop your character, your inner being, reflecting your best qualities and then lift up the life of another by sharing your gifts of wisdom and experiences. I am confident that your heart will reward you.