Monday, November 26, 2012

What is Good Character?

By Pascal Dennis

Been spending a lot of time in Chicago this year.

Splendid town full of vitality as expressed in its architecture, street life, style...

Nasty teachers strike though, during which the above question was raised.

At issue was a rambling, semi-coherent speech by a union leader wherein she, apparently, made light of drug & chemical addiction and a chaotic lifestyle.

So what is good character?

James Q. Wilson tells us it comprises two things:

  • Self-control, and
  • Consideration for others

By this standard, did the union leader demonstrate good character?

Seems she struck out on both, no?

In fact, she seemed to be telling students, "its okay to do this."

A portion will try, and a smaller portion may become drug addicts and suffer terribly.

Self-control & consideration for others are severe standards to live by - (certainly for me they are).

But that's the value of standards - whether in the workplace or the heart.

Standards make problems visible, so that we corrupt, tricky, weak mortals can behave a little better.

As the wise man said, every day a little up.

In summary, good character comprises self-control & consideration for others.

Very tough, but we have to try.



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