X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

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THANK YOU  BERT FULKS 

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X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

Friends, as most of you know, I get to spend an hour each week with a group of young people going through addiction recovery.  Yes.  Young people.  I’m talking teenagers who are locked away for at least six months as they learn to overcome their addictions.  I’m always humbled and honored to get this time with these beautiful young souls that have been so incredibly assaulted by a world they have yet to understand.  This also comes with the bittersweet knowledge that these kids still have a fighting chance while several of my friends have already had to bury their own children.

Recently I asked these kids a simple question:  “How many of you have found yourself in situations where things started happening that you weren’t comfortable with, but you stuck around, mainly because you felt like you didn’t have a way out?”

They all raised their hands.

Every single one of them.

In the spirit of transparency … I get it.  Though in my mid-forties, I’m still in touch with that awkward boy who often felt trapped in the unpredictable currents of teenage experiences.  I can’t count the times sex, drugs, and alcohol came rushing into my young world; I wasn’t ready for any of it, but I didn’t know how to escape and, at the same time, not castrate myself socially.  I still recall my first time drinking beer at a friend’s house in junior high school—I hated it, but I felt cornered.  As an adult, that now seems silly, but it was my reality at the time.  “Peer pressure” was a frivolous term for an often silent, but very real thing; and I certainly couldn’t call my parents and ask them to rescue me.  I wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.  As a teen, forcing down alcohol seemed a whole lot easier than offering myself up for punishment, endless nagging and interrogation, and the potential end of freedom as I knew it.

X-Plan

xplan-text1-2For these reasons, we now have something called the “X-plan” in our family.  This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time.  Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party.  If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter “X” to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister).  The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow.  Within a few minutes, they call Danny’s phone.  When he answers, the conversation goes like this:

“Hello?”

“Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.”

“What happened?”

“I’ll tell you when I get there.  Be ready to leave in five minutes.  I’m on my way.”

At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave.

In short, Danny knows he has a way out; at the same time, there’s no pressure on him to open himself to any social ridicule.  He has the freedom to protect himself while continuing to grow and learn to navigate his world.

This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given him, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.

xplan-text1However, there’s one critical component to the X-plan:  Once he’s been extracted from the trenches, Danny knows that he can tell us as much or as little as he wants … but it’s completely up to him.  The X-plan comes with the agreement that we will pass no judgments and ask no questions (even if he is 10 miles away from where he’s supposed to be).  This can be a hard thing for some parents (admit it, some of us are complete control-freaks); but I promise it might not only save them, but it will go a long way in building trust between you and your kid.

(One caveat here is that Danny knows if someone is in danger, he has a moral obligation to speak up for their protection, no matter what it may cost him personally.  That’s part of the lesson we try to teach our kids—we are our brother’s keeper, and sometimes we have to stand for those too weak to stand for themselves.  Beyond that, he doesn’t have to say a word to us.  Ever.)

For many of us parents, we lament the intrusion of technology into our relationships.  I hate seeing people sit down to dinner together and then proceed to stare into their phones.  It drives me nuts when my kids text me from another room in our house.  However, cell phones aren’t going away, so we need to find ways to use this technology to help our kids in any way we can.

I urge you to use some form of our X-plan in your home.  If you honor it, your kids will thank you for it.  You never know when something so simple could be the difference between your kid laughing with you at the dinner table or spending six months in a recovery center … or (God forbid) something far worse.

Prayers for strength and compassion to the parents out there as we all try to figure this whole parenting gig out—it never gets easy.

I beg you to share this piece.  If this somehow gives just one kid a way out of a bad situation, we can all feel privileged to have been a part of that.

#xplan

Blessings, friends.

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Lily and Daddy

Lily and Daddy

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Aunt Cari reading to Lily

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Values

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Exceptional good character ♡

What a shining example! And with much humor too!


#VALUES


Life itself is the proper binge -Julia Child 


purpose 

And it continues…..

Long? Yes. Worth reading? ABSOLUTELY!

You will find some of it repeated…in don’t feel like picking through it lol. Besides, maybe it’s that it deserves repeating…

I just copied  and pasted

via What Will Matter

➳ What Will Matter 

GOOD CHARACTER: Great Quotes on Character, Reputation and Character Education compiled by Michael Josephson

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Revised March 12, 2016

CHARACTER, REPUTATION & CHARACTER EDUCATION: THE GREATEST QUOTES EVER compiled by Michael Josephson

Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character. — Henry Clay

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; / when health is lost, something is lost; / when character is lost, all is lost. – German proverb

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. – (attributed to many sources but actual source is unknown)

A man’s character is his fate. — Heraclitus

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character. – Horace Greeley

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The wealthy man is the man who is much, not the one who has much. – Unknown
No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when flowers have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. ~Charles H. Spurgeon

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How important is the heart! It is there that character is formed. It alone holds the secrets of true success. It’s treasures are priceless — but they can be stolen. – Charles Swindoll

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The within is ceaselessly becoming the without. From the state of a man’s heart doth proceed the conditions of his life; his thoughts blossom into deeds, and his deeds bear the fruitage of character and destiny. – James Allen

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What most counts is not merely to live, but to live right. – Socrates

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Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath. — Solon

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Parents can only give [their children] good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands — Anne Frank

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We judge our own character by our best intentions and most noble acts, but we will be judged by our last worst act. – Michael Josephson

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When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character. –W. Somerset Maugham

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Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. – General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

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An important part of who you are is what you want to be.—Amy Kampert

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Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone.- Cyrus Bartol

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Character is ethics in action. Michael Josephson

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Character is what you are in the dark. ¾ Rev. Dwight Moody

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Character is revealed by how you act when you think no one is looking. – unknown

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Character is the sum and total of a person’s choices. ~ P. B. Fitzwater ~

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Character – The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. Thomas Babington Macaulay

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Character is much easier kept than recovered. – Thomas Paine

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Character is the moral strength to do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay. – Michael Josephson

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Character is ethical and moral strength. People of good character have the moral awareness and strength to know the good, love the good and do the good. — Michael Josephson

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Character is the sum of one’s good habits (virtues) and bad habits (vices). These habits mark us and affect the ways in which we respond to life’s events and challenges. Our character is our profile of habits and dispositions to act in certain ways. — Tom Lickona, Eric Schaps and Catherine Lewis

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Character is made up of core moral principles called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. Each of these virtues are independently important but together they provide the foundation for a worthy life. -Michael Josephson

(Lily learned this in second grade!)

Character is the foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character. Without character, all effort to attain dignity is superficial, and results are sure to be disappointing. — R. C. Samsel

Character determines how we lead our lives, how we deal with life’s unearned fortunes and misfortunes and how we make choices that determine how those fortunes and misfortunes work to make us what we become. – Michael Josephson

Character consists of the moral awareness and strength to know the good, love the good and do the good. – (derived from Tom Lickona)

Character is just another term for “good person.” A person of character lives a worthy life guided by moral principles. A person of character is a good parent, a good friend, a good employee and a good citizen.– Michael Josephson

Character is the most effective means of persuasion. – Aristotle

Character refers to dispositions and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures and successes. — Michael Josephson

Character is not about how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.-John Holt

Character is both formed and revealed by how one deals with everyday situations as well as extraordinary pressures and temptations. Like a well-made tower, character is built stone by stone, decision by decision. – Michael Josephson

Character – We describe the character of a person in reference to moral judgments about the worthiness of a person. Thus, to have a strong, great or honorable character is to be a person of merit, worthy of admiration and honor. — Michael Josephson

Character is power. – Booker T. Washington

Character – Some day, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long-continued process. Phillips Brooks

Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful. — Jacqueline Bisset

Character is developed one positive action at a time. Therefore nothing is actually trivial in our lives. To grow in character development, pay attention to seemingly trivial matters. Someone who grows from each minor life event will eventually reach high levels of character perfection. – Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Character is simply habit long continued. – Plutarch

Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness.~ Faith Baldwin

Good character is a universal concept composed of core ethical values that transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship. Derived from the Aspen Declaration 1992, Josephson Institute


Good character is more important than wealth, good looks, popularity and even education. These things do not guarantee happiness and often they become obstacles to developing good character
. – Michael Josephson

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.– Heraclitus

Good character is the single most important attribute of a successful and worthy life. — Michael Josephson

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. – Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln described character as a tree and reputation as its shadow. The tree will always be what it is but the shadow we see depends on where we stand and the angle of the light. – Michael Josephson

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. — John Wooden

If you pay too much attention to your reputation, you could lose your character. ¾ Michael Josephson

We all have three characters: the one we really have, the one we try to convince the world we have, and the one we think we have. Michael Josephson

There never was a strong character that was not made strong by discipline of the will; there never was a strong people that did not rank subordination and discipline among the signal virtues. Subjection to moods is the mark of a deteriorating morality. There is no baser servitude than that of the man whose caprices are his masters, and a nation composed of such men could not long preserve its liberties. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hire for character, train for skills. – Michael Josephson

People of good character are not all going to come down on the same side of difficult political and social issues. Good people–people of character and moral literacy–can be conservative, and good people can be liberal. We must not permit our disputes over thorny political questions to obscure the obligation we have to offer instruction to all our young people in the area in which we have, as a society, reached a consensus: namely, on the importance of good character, and some of its pervasive particulars. – William J. Bennett

What a person says and does in ordinary moments when no one is looking reveals more about true character than grand actions taken while in the spotlight. Our true character is revealed by normal, consistent, everyday attitudes and behavior, not by self-conscious words or deeds or rare acts of moral courage. – Michael Josephson

Neither heredity nor environment determine character. But whether we give in to or overcome the negative messages we are exposed to as we wend our way through life is often determined by whether our parents, teachers, mentors and friends exposed us to good examples and morally inspiring ideas. – Michael Josephson

The way we treat people we think can’t help or hurt us — like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries — tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. How we behave when we think no one is looking or when we don’t think we will get caught more accurately portrays our character than what we say or do in service of our reputations. – Michael Josephson

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them. – Malcolm S. Forbes

The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act even when it has worked. – H. L. Mencken,

A person of character knows the difference between right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing for the right reason. – Michael Josephson

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. –Albert Einstein

It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character. –Arthur Schopenhauer

It is not the most distinguished achievements that men’s virtues or vices may be best discovered; but very often an action of small note. An casual remark or joke shall distinguish a person’s real character more than the greatest sieges, or the most important battles. –Plutarch

Put a rogue in the limelight and he will act like an honest man. — Napoleon

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

One’s character is one’s habitual way of behaving. We all have patterns of behavior or habits, and often we are quite unaware of them. When Socrates urged us to Know thyself, he clearly was directing us to come to know our habitual ways of responding to the world around us. — Tom Lickona, Eric Schaps and Catherine Lewis

Tell the truth. Do your best no matter how trivial the task. Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. Look out for the group before you look out for yourself. Don’t whine or make excuses. Judge others by their actions and not by their race or other characteristics. -United States Marines

A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth… Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits, which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind-elements operate in shaping his character, circumstances, and destiny. – James Allen,

The habits of feeling, action and judgment that comprise good character depend on personal self-discipline and powerful aspiration to become a good person, all of which must be drawn from within. — Edwin Delattre

The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts. Blaise Pascal


Circumstance does not make me, it reveals me
.—William James

Fortune does not change anyone; it only unmasks them. — Henry O. Dormann

Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or we grow weak, and at last some crisis shows us what we have become. – Bishop Westcott

It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character. Arthur Schopenhauer

Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act if all the world were looking at you, and act accordingly. – Thomas Jefferson

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney

Ten Rules of Thomas Jefferson: 1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. / 2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. / 3. Never spend your money before you have it. / 4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will never be dear to you. / 5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold. / 6. Never repent of having eaten too little. / 7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. / 8. Don’t let the evils which have never happened cost you pain. / 9. Always take things by their smooth handle. / 10. When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to one hundred. – Thomas Jefferson,

Everyone knows that weeds eat out the life of the garden and of the productive fields. It’s like that in the building and developing of character. No one knows our own faults and tendencies better than we do ourselves, so that it is up to each one of us to keep the weeds out, and to keep all growth vigorous and fruitful. George Matthew Adams

Knowledge will give you power, but character earns respect. –Bruce Lee

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. –Eleanor Roosevelt

The heroic hours of life do not announce their presence by drum and trumpet, challenging us to be true to ourselves by appeals to the martial spirit that keeps the blood at heat. Some little, unassuming, unobtrusive choice presents itself before us slyly and craftily, glib and insinuating, in the modest garb of innocence. . . . Then it is that you will be summoned to show the courage of adventurous youth. — Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo

Fame is what you have taken, / Character’s what you give; / When to this truth you waken, / Then you begin to live. Bayard Taylor

Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are. Henry Van Dyke

Wherever man goes to dwell, his character goes with him. –African Proverb

There is no adversity that cannot be overcome by good character. Michael S. Josephson

Virtue herself is her own fairest reward. -Silius Italicus

We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. — Calvin Coolidge

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. –George Washington

How a people play the game shows something of their character; how they lose shows all of it.— unknown

If someone lacks character, “Be yourself!” is the worst advice you can give. – unknown

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. ~J.C. Watt

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident. –Charles Lamb

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. – Elmer G. Letterman

As you live your values, your sense of identity, integrity, control, and inner-directedness will infuse you with both exhilaration and peace. You will define yourself from within, rather than by people’s opinions or by comparisons to others. – Stephen Covey

 It can be frustrating and even frightening to observe the success which sometimes comes to outlaws and rogues who seem to refute notions of universal justice. Every time we see a villain enjoying the fruits of dishonorable acts we find ourselves doubting the value of character and the validity of the virtues we have been taught. Thus, it takes character to believe in character, but that belief is always rewarded, often by material success, but always by the esteem it earns from those who matter. – Michael Josephson

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. — Walter Anderson

 One who faces and who fears the right things and from the right motive, in the right way and at the right time, posseses character worthy of our trust and admiration. (derived from Aristotle)

 There is the need for someone against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler, you won’t make the crooked straight. – Seneca

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. — Marie Curie

Try not to become a person of success but rather try to become a person of value. Albert Einstein

 Nothing about character is hereditary. Everyone, regardless of social background, financial status, race, or sex, enters the world with an equal opportunity to become a person of great or petty character. Michael Josephson

 The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character. -Stephen Covey

According as a man acts and walks in the path of life, so he becomes. He that does good becomes good; he that does evil becomes evil. By pure actions he becomes pure; by evil actions he becomes evil. — Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (c 600—300 BC) sacred philosophical Hindu literature.

 Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil–the silent, unconcious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be. – William George Jordan

I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances — Martha Washington

The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. And if our words and our actions come from superficial human relations techniques (the Personality Ethic) rather than from our own inner core (the Character Ethic), others will sense that duplicity. We simply won’t be able to create and sustain the foundation necessary for effective interdependence. –Stephen Covey

There is no royal road or ready way to virtue. – Sir Thomas Browne

We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Woodrow Wilson

In great matters men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small matters as they are. Gamaliel Bradford

 People that seem so glorious are all show. Underneath they’re like anybody else. – Euripides

Essential characteristics of a gentleman: The will to put himself in the place of others; the horror of forcing others into positions from which he would himself recoil; and the power to do what seems to him to be right without considering what others may say or think. John Galsworthy

 Isn’t it possible that self-esteem isn’t causal at all, but simply the happy side effect of a sturdy character, itself the product of unambiguous moral education? —G.B. Trudeau, Doonesbury

During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual..~ Bernard M. Baruch

Our characters are the result of our conduct. Aristotle

Get to know two things about a man – how he earns his money and how he spends it – and you have the clue to his character, for you have a searchlight that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, his real religion. Robert James McCracken,

Sports do not build character. They reveal it. –Heywood Hale Broun

Human character evermore publishes itself. The most fugitive deed and word, the intimated purpose, express character. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Sincerity is impossible unless it pervades the whole being, and the pretense of it saps the very foundation of character. James Russell Lowell

 I have yet to meet a man as fond of high moral conduct as he is of outward appearances. — Confucius

 If you want to know what a person’s character, take notice of how he acts when he loses money. – Proverb

No matter how full a resevoir of maxims one may posses, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. — William James

 I’ve never met a healthy person who worried much about his health, or a good person who worried much about his soul. –John B.S. Haldane

 Men may be divided almost any way we please, but I have found the most useful to be made between those who devote their lives to conjugating the verb to be and those who spend their lives conjugating the verb to have. –Sydney Harris

No one becomes depraved all at once. — uvenal

 One can acquire everything in solitude except character. — Henri Stendhal

 One must judge men, not by their opinions, but by what their opinions have made of them. — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. George Eliot ,

There is much difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him. — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

 Our enemies’ opinion of us comes closer to the truth than our own. –Francois La Rochefoucauld

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. –Lord Acton

Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 Reputation is character minus what you’ve been caught doing. –Micheal Iapoce

 The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. Socrates

Some people are molded by their admirations, others by their hostilities. Elizabeth Bowen

Somehow it must be made plain that the lawyer’s moral judgment is not for hire, that there are occasions when the lawyer . . . is under a duty to act as a person of independent ethical concern with obligations not only to his client’s interests but also to fairness and justice in the management of affairs. Professor Harry Jones

 Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art. Cervantes, Don Quixote

The character and qualifications of the leader are reflected in the men he selects, develops and gathers around him. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader. Arthur W. Newcomb

 The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter. Somerset Maugham

The lack of wealth is easily repaired but the poverty of the soul is irreplaceable. Michel de Montaigne

The lawyer’s conscience like his law is a learned thing, not intuitive, untutored, abstract; it is not everyman’s conscience. Applied to a specific case, the lawyer’s conscience is a reflection of an educated sense of justice under law and of a thorough awareness of a lawyer’s role in the system of continuing justice. Professor David Mellinkoff

There must be some point, at which the lawyer’s own personal and social morality will rebel against his traditional allegiance to his client. – Professor Harry Jones

 The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is. George Bernard Shaw

The real gentlemen is one who is gentle in everything, at least in everything that depends on himself – in carriage, temper, constructions, aims, desires. He is mild, calm, quiet, even temperate – not hasty in judgment, not exorbitant in ambition, not overbearing, not proud, not rapacious, not oppressive. Hare

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil. Hannah Arendt

Class has a sense of humor. It knows that a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations. Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class bespeaks an aristocracy unrelated to  ancestors or money. Some extremely wealthy people have no class at all, while others who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it. Class is real. You can’t fake it. Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not attempt to look better by making others look worse. Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself. If you have class, you’ve got it made. If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it won’t make up for it. — Ann Landers

 To brag little, to lose well, / To crow gently if in luck, / To pay up, to own up, / To shut up if beaten, / Are the virtues of a sporting man. Oliver Wendell Holmes

This above all: to thine own self be true,/ And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou canst not then be false to any man. William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to change to the opposite qualities. Niccolo Machiavelli

 To make astute people believe one is what one is not is, in most cases, harder than actually to become what one wishes to appear. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

 It’s actually easier to truly become a person of good character than to persuade others we are what we are not. – Michael Josephson

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. – Alfred Adler

What a person praises is perhaps a surer standard, even, than what he condemns, of his character, information and abilities. Hare

 You will become as small as you controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration. James Alle

Show class, have pride, and display character.If you do , winning will take care of it self.—Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant

 The truth of the matter is that you ALWAYS know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.–unknown

One does evil enough when one does nothing good. ~German proverb

Don’t try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough. ~Arthur Freed

Live truth instead of professing it. ~Elbert Hubbard

 It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~Andre Gide

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ~George Bernard Shaw

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. ~Andrew Carnegie

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. Will Rogers

 Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. ~William Faulkner

Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

My life is my message. ~Mahatma Ghandi

 I realized that if what we call human nature can be changed, then absolutely anything is possible. From that moment my life changed. – Shirley MacLaine

There is not good or bad but as thinking makes them to be. —Shakespeare

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward. — Henry Ford

 Whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people’s characters. — Margaret Halsey

 Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. – unknown.

 In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action. – Aristotle

 We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions. – Aristotle,

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. – Walter Anderson

Be grateful for the joy of life. Be glad for the privilege of work. Be thankful for the opportunity to give and serve. Good work is the great character-builder, the sweetener of life, the maker of destiny. Let the spirit of your work be right, and whether your task be great or small you will then have the satisfaction of knowing it is worth while. – Grenville Kleiser

What you are comes to you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Virtue is like rich stone, best plain set. – Francis Bacon

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done. – William Shakespeare (King Richard II)

Emotional maturity is ability to stick to a job and to struggle through until it is finished; to endure unpleasantness, discomfort, and frustration; to give more than is asked for or required; to size things up and make independent decisions; to work under authority and to cooperate with others; to defer to time, other persons, and to circumstances. – Edward A. Strecker,

 A man is about as big as the things that make him angry. – Winston Churchill

There are two lives to each of us, the life of our actions, and the life of our minds and hearts. History reveals men’s deeds and their outward characters, but not themselves. There is a secret self that has its own life, unpenetrated and unguessed. –EdwardBulwer-Lytton

A man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty, since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty that he can realize his potentialities. – Charles de Gaulle

 We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its ever so little scar…Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out. – William James

 If to do good were easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces. – William Shakespeare

The choices that make a significant difference in our lives are the tough ones. They’re not often fun or easy, but they’re the ones we have to make, and each is a deliberate step toward better understanding who we really are. – Alexandra Stoddard

Civilization is first of all a moral thing. Without truth, respect for duty, love of neighbor, and virtue, everything is destroyed. The morality of a society is alone the basis of civilization. — Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881; Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)

The person of intellect is lost unless they unite with energy of character. When we have the lantern of Diogenes we must also have his staff. — Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort (1741-1794; French writer)

It is easy enough to arouse in a listener a desire for what is honorable; for in every one of us nature has laid the foundations or sown the seeds of the virtues. We are born to them all, all of us, and when a person comes along with the necessary stimulus, then those qualities of the personality are awakened, so to speak, from their slumber. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c.4 BC-65 AD)

 Happiness must be cultivated. It is like character. It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment, or it will run to weeds. — Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911; American writer)

 How can they expect a harvest of thought who have not had the seed time of character. — Henry David Thoreau

It is easy enough to be virtuous When nothing tempts you to stray; When without or within No voice of sin Is luring your soul away. But it is only a negative virtue until it is tried by fire. For the soul that is worth the treasures of the earth is the soul that resists desire. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1855-1919; American poet/journalist)

Now I know better, so I do better. — Maya Angelou

 So much does the moral health depend upon the moral atmosphere that is breathed, and so great is the influence daily exercised by parents over their children by living a life before their eyes, that perhaps the best system of parental instruction might be summed up in these two words: ‘Improve thyself.’ — Samuel Smiles

The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and an estate in the general good-will; dignifying every station, and exalting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth, and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tell; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude, and consistency–qualities which, perhaps more than any other, command the general confidence and respect of mankind. — Samuel Smiles

One of the troubles of our times is that we are all, I think, precocious as personalities and backward as characters. — W. H. Auden

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases. — John Adams

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. — Anne Frank

Virtue is harder to be got than knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered. — John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education

To point out the importance of circumspection in your conduct, it may be proper to observe that a good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous. — George Washington, in a letter to his nephew in 1790

Intelligence plus character–that is the true goal of education. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, fix your thoughts on such things. — St. Paul, Phillipians 4

Reputation. .. some quotes on that in here too, although I don’t put stock in that myself #justsayin But I’ll still include it. #IMHO 

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. — John Wooden

 If you pay too much attention to your reputation, you could lose your character. ¾ Michael Josephson

A good name is better than precious ointment. Hebrew Bible. Ecclesiastes 7:1.

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha’ lost my reputation, I ha’ lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial! William Shakespeare (1564–1616),

The great difficulty is first to win a reputation; the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name. Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence. Benjamin Haydon (1786–1846),

Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable. –Voltaire (1694–1778),

 A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity. –Baltasar Gracian,

No public character has ever stood the revelation of private utterance and correspondence. –Lord Acton

People who pay too much attention to their reputation — what people think of them — often lose their character. ¾ Michael Josephson.

The two most precious things this side the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other. A wise man, therefore, will be more anxious to deserve a fair name than to possess it, and this will teach him so to live as not to be afraid to die. –Cotton

 If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. –Abraham Lincoln

Whatever you lend let it be your money, and not your name. Money you may get again, and, if not, you may contrive to do without it; name once lost you cannot get again. –Edward Bulwer-Lytton

A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one. –Lord Jeffrey

Reputation is a reward, to be sure, but it is really the beginning, not the end of endeavor. It should not be the signal for a let-down, but rather, a reminder that the standards which won recognition can never again be lowered. From him who gives much – much is forever after expected. –Alvan Macauley

Of course, our assessment of a person’s character is an opinion and it isn’t always right. Abraham Lincoln recognized an important difference between character and reputation. “Character,” he said “is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Because the shape of a shadow is determined by the angle of light and the perspective of the observer, it’s not a perfect image of the tree. In the same way, reputation is not always an accurate reflection of character. Some people derive more benefit from their reputation than they deserve; others are better than their reputations. Still, reputation matters. It determines how others think of us and treat us and whether we are held in high or low esteem. That’s why many people and organizations are so preoccupied with their image that they actually undermine their character by concealing or creating facts to make them look better. It’s ironic that reputations are often the result of dishonesty or the lack of accountability. _ Michael Josephson

 Reputation is only a candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.~ James Russell Lowell

Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. — Elbert Hubbard

 The only time you realize you have a reputation is when you’re not living up to it. Jose Iturbi

Good and bad men are each less so than they seem. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 A reputation for good judgment, for fair dealing, for truth, and for rectitude, is itself a fortune. Henry Ward Beecher

 Nothing deflates so fast as a punctured reputation. Thomas Robert Dewar

 To enjoy a good reputation, give publicly, and steal privately. — Josh Billings

 Many men and women enjoy popular esteem, not because they are known, but because they are not known. Nicholas Chamfort

Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. ~ Liz Smith

Confessions may be good for the soul but they are bad for the reputation. Thomas Robert Dewar

 Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. ~Aristotle

 The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. ~Socrates, 470-399 BC

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only. ~Samuel Butler, Erewhon

With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back. ~Russian proverb

Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is. ¾ Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind (1936).

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,/ Is the immediate jewel of their souls;/ Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘tis something, nothing;/ ‘Twas mine, ‘tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name/ Robs me of that which not enriches him,/ And makes me poor indeed. ¾ Shakespeare, Othello

 A good name is rather to be chosen than riches. – King Solomon, Proverbs 22:1

There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. – Mark Twain

One stumble is enough to deface the character of an honorable life.~ L. Estrange ~

Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power; but, character, health, knowledge and good judgment will always be in demand under all conditions.~ Roger Babson ~

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. [Proverbs 23:7] ~ Bible ~

Let us not say, every man is the architect of his own fortune; but let us say, every man is the architect of his own character.~ George D. Boardman ~

 The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back. ~ Abigail Van Buren ~

Success is always temporary. When all is said and done, the only thing you’ll have left is your character. ~ Vince Gill ~

 By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character. ~ Grenville Kleiser ~

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘If you guarantee me six things on your part I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes, and restrain your hands from injustice. Abu Hurayrah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘The signs of a hypocrite are three: 1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. 2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise). 3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest (if you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it).” Abu Hurayrah

Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety; and fear Allah for Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” Al Maida 5:8

There never was a strong character that was not made strong by discipline of the will; there never was a strong people that did not rank subordination and discipline among the signal virtues. Subjection to moods is the mark of a deteriorating morality. There is no baser servitude than that of the man whose caprices are his masters, and a nation composed of such men could not long preserve its liberties.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882; American educator, poet, essayist)

We now possess four principles of morality: 1) a philosophical: do good for its own sake, out of respect for the law; 2) a religious: do good because it is God’s will, out of love of God; 3) a human: do good because it will promote your happiness, out of self-love; 4) a political: do good because it will promote the welfare of the society of which you are a part, out of love of society having regard to yourself. But is this not all one single principle, only viewed from different sides?” — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799; German physicist)

 When we say someone has good character we are expressing the opinion that his or her nature is defined by worthy traits like integrity, courage, and compassion.

 No one is born with good character; it’s not a hereditary trait. And it isn’t determined by a single noble act. Character is established by conscientious adherence to moral values, not by lofty rhetoric or good intentions. – Michael Josephson

Character Education

THE ASPEN DECLARATION 1) The next generation will be the stewards of our communities, nation and planet in extraordinarily critical times.2) In such times, the well-being of our society requires an involved, caring citizenry with good moral character.3) People do not automatically develop good moral character; therefore, conscientious efforts must be made to help young people develop the values and abilities necessary for moral decision making and conduct. 4) Effective character education is based on core ethical values rooted in democratic society, in particular, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship.5) These core ethical values transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences.6) Character education is, first and foremost, an obligation of families and faith communities, but schools and youth-service organizations also have a responsibility to help develop the character of young people. 7) These responsibilities are best achieved when these groups work in concert. 8) The character and conduct of our youth reflect the character and conduct of society; therefore, every adult has the responsibility to teach and model the core ethical values and every social institution has the responsibility to promote the development of good character.- proclamation issued July 1992 by 30 leaders in character education at a summit hosted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics. The Declaration is the foundation of the national CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition

Character development is the great, if not the sole, aim of education. – William James O’Shea

Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece–by thought, choice, courage and determination.

Nothing is more important for our personal happiness and for the good of society than acquiring the dispositions and habits which constitute good character. — Tom Lickona, Eric Schaps and Catherine Lewis

Education has for its object the formation of character. Herbert Spencer

 It’s easier to make a good person better than to make a bad person good. Michael Josephson

Throughout our history, wise thinkers and average men-on-the-street have recognized that it is character that counts. Heraclitus wrote, Character is destiny. The success or failure of character formation determines the destiny of each of us. It determines, too, the destiny of our nation. If each of us is to be fully human, then, we need to form strong characters. — Tom Lickona, Eric Schaps and Catherine Lewis

Babies are born with neither good nor bad character. Normal people — as they grow, learn and are trained — develop better or worse dispositions and habits of conduct. — Edwin Delattre

We are born with a potential for good character — and for the dispositions and habits that make up bad or weak character. Because we are born in ignorance of moral ideals, however, we must be instructed or trained if we are to achieve a good second nature. Edwin Delattre

 A person is said to have good character when their habits, dispositions and conduct reflect a deep commitment to ethical virtues and moral principles. – Michael Josephson

Character grows in the soil of experience with the fertilization of example, the moisture of ambition, and the sunshine of satisfaction. Character cannot be purchased, bargained for, inherited, rented or imported from afar. It must be home-grown. Purely intellectual development without commensurate internal character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is high on drugs. Yet all too often in the academic world, that’s exactly what we do by not focusing on the character development of young people. —Steven Covey

 The formation of character in young people is educationally a different task from, and a prior task to, the discussion of the great, difficult, ethical controversies of the day. First things first. And planting the ideas of virtue, of good traits in the young, comes first. In the moral life, as in life itself, we take one step at a time. Every field has its complexities and controversies. And so does ethics. And every field has its basics. So too with values. – William J. Bennett

When it comes to building character, wealth, good looks, athletic ability and even a high IQ are more likely to be impediments than advantages. Michael S. Josephson

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -Helen Keller

Nothing is more important for the public wealth than to form and train youth in wisdom and virtue. Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. — Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more important for our personal happiness and for the good of society than acquiring the dispositions and habits which constitute good character. — Tom Lickona, Eric Schaps and Catherine Lewis

If we don’t invest now in building character into children we will surely invest more tomorrow in trying to repair adults. – Michael Josephson

The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born. –William Ralph Inge

Purely intellectual development without commensurate internal character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is high on drugs. Yet all too often in the academic world, that’s exactly what we do by not focusing on the character development of young people. —Steven Covey

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Observation About Character. It Can Be Frustrating And Even Frightening To Observe The Success Which Sometimes Comes To Outlaws And Rogues Who Seem To Refute Notions Of Universal Justice. Every Time We See A Villain Enjoying The Fruits Of Dishonorable Acts We Find Ourselves Doubting The Value Of Character And The Validity Of The Virtues We Have Been Taught. Thus, It Takes Character To Believe In Character, But That Belief Is Always Rewarded, Often By Material Success, But Always By The Esteem It Earns From Those Who Matter. – Michael Josephson

It’s been a LONG road….


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#PURPOSE #PURPOSEDRIVENLIFE #LOVE #SENTIMENT #GOODCHARACTER #MORALS #INTEGRITY # #SACRIFICE #COMPASSION #PARENTING #GRANDPARENTING #CARE #EMPATHY #PRIORITIES #WHATMATTERS #LISTENING