Friday, May 2, 2008


I would rather be adorned by beauty of character than jewels. Jewels are the gift of fortune, while character comes from within.~~Titus Maccius Plautus

Every day when I open my internet browser I'm greeted by a new scandal. It may be political or in the entertainment world or even is the religious world. Today's scandal details the affair the Barbara Walters had with a married politician. How does one begin an affair with a married man without understanding that it is wrong? I believe she said that he was brilliant and exciting. I really don't want to know any more of the story. What purpose is there in revealing her adultery now? Her credibility with me just dropped to zero.

I sometimes wonder if character is in danger of disappearing altogether. People think nothing of lying or stealing or massacring someone's reputation. There are so few examples for our children to look up to that it isn't any wonder they respect no one. When a child hears his parents discussing ways to cheat on their taxes or how they didn't have to pay for something because the cashier didn't ring it up, then what do we expect?

Character is also the strength to deal with adversity. Yesterday I was discussing this issue with a young man. He ask me why I thought there were so many divorces. I told him I think it's because at least one individual in the marriage didn't say those vows "until death do us part"--they said "until something better comes along". At the first sign of difficulties, they bailed out because that's so much easier than staying and toughing it out.

Someone once said that character is a measure of how a person behaves when you give them power. Have you ever watched the way a person changes when they're given a managerial position? Not all, but many become petty tyrants, drunk on the power they have over their erstwhile co-workers. Too few have the character to manage while keeping a level head on their shoulders.

The economy is falling on hard times and I suspect that we as a nation will see exactly what we've wrought. We haven't been building character. We've been building dependency. And the time is coming when we won't be able to pay the bill. Then we'll find out which of our neighbors have character and backbone and which will fall by the wayside.

Are you ready?


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  1. True - but I also look at character as being a individual with the right to stuff up and the need to face the consequences of said stuffing up

  2. I agree, Anny. I asked my neice why she chose not to marry the father of her children, and her response was 'Why subject them to a traumatizing divorce later down the road?"

    My response: "Then why did you choose to get pregnant twice with the same man, if there were no future plans?"

    She had no answer.

    Granted, she didn't have the best role model in a mother to begin with; however, too many of today's marriages begin ideally, but when problems arise, they take the 'easy' way out and find lawyers, instead of trying to work together to solve the problem!

  3. Well at least she didn't compound the problem by marrying him. It saddens me that when people look for an affair, they don't think past the original excitement and thrill. They don't see weeks or years later the way he throws his clothes on the floor, belches at the dinner table, scratches in public or rolls his eyes at you when you talk to him. They see the immediate sex.

    Your spouse however knowns all your foibles and is still around. You know his and though that initial "oh he's yummy" thought may cross your mind about another man, you are still married to the first guy. No one deserves to get crapped on.

    And Anny, go back and tell that young man that divorce happens because they don't have kinky sex, then hand him a book.

  4. Nice post. I think you're right about lack of character building. All you have to do is look around to see the downward spiral of society. I'm not a doomsday-er but the changes in society are obvious...

  5. I heard about the Barbara Walters deal yesterday and just shook my head. Why come out with this anyway? Later I learned she'll soon be promoting her book and it's well documented within. Okay. Yuk. I credited her with better judgment than this and like you, she has plummeted in my estimation.

    As to character, we've always tried to instill strong values in our kids. Don't steal, lie, cheat, value PEOPLE and don't judge others by shallow standards. We've been lucky and it has worked. My kids are young youngest almost 17 and I'm constantly amazed and proud at the good judgement they show despite it sometimes causing them personal pain. My daughter, for example, is in high school and chooses to stay home rather than "be popular" and get into all the tough things kids do these days. She is showing great personal fortitude but is paying a steep price among her peers. This makes me sad but also more proud than I can say.

    And divorce? Don't people want to work for anything anymore? We've been married 25 yrs. and yeah, we've had "patches" but we care enough to work them out.

    Thanks for the great post, Anny!

  6. Hand in hand with lack of character seems to be lack of personal responsibility. It amazes me to see the astounding lack of responsibility people take for their own choices.

    I know a woman whose husband had multiple affairs and when she found out, she served him with divorce papers telling him that he'd made his choices. His response was, "but they were *bad* choices." as though it wasn't his fault. Sigh...