I love seeing “CTR” rings on people’s fingers.
“Choose the right, when a choice is placed before you…” We as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have sung this hymn many times.
As we talk about what character is to our children, we are giving them mental models of how to choose the right. Our stories and experiences will help them see what choosing the right actually looks like.
Stephen R. Covey talks about this when he compares personality traits like agreeableness and open-mindedness to character traits like integrity and perseverance.
“The Personality Ethic focuses on “how to appear to be” rather than to “actually be”.”
“In stark contrast, almost all the literature in the first 150 years of our country focused on what could be called “the Character Ethic” as the foundation of success—
Stephen R. Covey’s character list is,
and the Golden Rule.“
Stephen Covey explains that after World War I, authors began extolling that the driving force of success was an individual’s personality–as opposed to character.
Newer books espoused how important your public persona was as well as dressing for success. There was a new emphasis attached to doing well in social situations and that a positive mental attitude was the key to winning in business and life.
One blogger said about personality vs character:
“You can fake people out and it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who YOU are; just make other people LIKE YOU and you’ll get what you want you most of the time.”1
When we as parents are teaching these meaningful, enduring qualities of character, we are developing “Deep River Children” who know why to choose the right. Over and over as we illustrate, read, watch, and discuss the common, ordinary experiences of our days, we can show the why. When you teach and emulate these divine qualities of the Savior, you are rewarded with feelings of strength and happiness. And the Spirit will be your constant guide.
Next: One of those common, ordinary character experiences.