Monday, October 22, 2007

Our Worlds Lack Of Character Is About To Be Undone!

Senator Craig, Marion Jones, Michael Vick, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Phil Spector, OJ Simpson, billions lost to corruption in Louisiana and Iraq -- it just doesn’t stop, does it? Well, despite the continual cesspool of bad news, things aren’t all bad. There are lots of people who refuse to allow our society to be hijacked by liars, cheaters, and thieves and just stupid people! You don’t hear as much as you should about all the good things going on because the news media is preoccupied with satisfying the public’s addiction to scandal, disaster, and gossip. I'm guilty of that too. And I don't think the LA Times is going to allow you to read that more than 5 million youngsters and their teachers and parents will be participating next week in various activities to promote and celebrate virtue and good character. But it's happening all over America this week. Read on.

The unifying event is called National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week, and this week about 12,000 schools and other organizations will express their commitment to repairing the hole in our moral ozone in their own unique ways. Some will have assemblies or parades featuring kids who have shown exemplary character. Others will award prizes for essays or engage in community service projects. Though the methods are varied, the common theme is that character does count, that we can and must teach, enforce, advocate, and model the core virtues that make people good and our communities great.

I've reported and quoted Michael Josephson and his Character Counts! radio bits many times. He's recently been put in the same boat as Andre Agassi, Tiger Woods, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Yes, it`s true, Michael has joined these sports luminaries — not because he can swing a racket or a club or even finish a heptathlon, but because he has been named one of America`s 100 Most Influential Sports Educators. The honor, bestowed by the Institute for International Sport, recognizes Michael`s efforts to promote good sportsmanship through Josephson Institute`s Pursuing Victory With Honor project.

This is one man, and one organization that really makes a difference. And if you say he doesn't make a difference, then maybe the virtues he promotes will help you to be a better person...a person of character. These virtues, called the Six Pillars of Character -- trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship -- are simple yet timeless. They also are the antidote to the toxic effect of all the bad stuff that is polluting the air. This year alone about 5,006,297 youth, 11,461 registrations, and 51 countries and counting are involved!

If you`re not directly involved with kids or education, you can still take part in building a community around enduring common values. Parents, for example, could reward their children for modeling one of the Six Pillars of Character with a CC! sticker, wristband or dog tag. Community leaders could obtain a mayoral CC! Week proclamation. Business leaders could sponsor a local art or essay contest. No matter what you decide to do, the key is to get involved. If you want to learn more about what’s happening during CHARACTER COUNTS! Week or, better yet, how you can become part of the solution, visit

It’s the country's biggest celebration of character. Get involved. Make A Difference. Become a person of character before you end up on the pages of Discover Insanity!