Character – Our Nation Needs it More Than Ever

Let me start out by saying that ‘character’ is the foundation for which if absent, the world falls into utter chaos! Wow, how’s that for an opener! At the surface you may think this is overly dramatizing the importance of ‘character’, but I assure you I am not.

To better convey this point, let me first make a few important points. Lately, we have seen a barrage of images  in the news about the shooting of Michael Brown, of Ferguson MO.

Unless you live in a complete vacuum, you are familiar with this tragedy. Also, we now know the police office, Darryl Wilson (and his wife) are leaving the police department and most likely the general area for their safety.

We also have seen weeks of rioting occurring all over the United States as a result of the reaction of the grand jury to move to not indict offer Wilson. And so the result of all this has led to an increase in tension and chaos!

At the center of this issue is character!

Why?

Because it was character or the lack of good character that allowed a young man to think he could strong-arm rob a store for cigars, and later disregard the attempt of a police officer to stop and question him for a robbery (that he had just committed). It was also an issue of character that allowed this same young man to resist arrest and make a grab for his gun…

If all these events are true (and the robbery has been confirmed on video); then Michael Brown’s actions stemmed from a lack of good character! Lets not make excuses, it was bad character…

And what about the officer’s judgement and character?

Why did he try to stop and physically detain a young man who the officer described was clearly stronger, defiant and apparently not inclined to be physically detained? If he  had backed off and waited for back up to arrive, Michael Brown might have been arrested without injury.

Did the officer use good judgement? Or should he have waited for his back up to arrive before trying to arrest Brown? Was the officer’s attempt to grab Brown from his car door an example of trying to be ‘Macho Man’.

What was present in the officer’s judgement and character that allowed him to think that he should attempt to wrestle with someone who was un-cooperative, obviously stronger and indifferent to his initial attempt to be questioned?

Was the officer emboldened because he had a badge and a gun?

Was it a matter of duty or ego?

Who really knows?

To be honest, I am not sure what I would have done if I were in officer Wilson’s situation…

Now lets switch gears for a minute.

What about the rioters who decided that they were going to riot as a means to express their anger?

What made them think it was okay to rob and burn down local businesses?

How does hurting one’s own local business community help the matter?

Does the ‘ends justify the means’? Meaning: Is it okay to engage in utter chaos – burn and loot – just to make a point?

So now everyone that disagrees with a judicial outcome can just destroy their community?

Or were other more serious character issues present…that allowed so many to engage in criminal activities?

And what about the news reporter who published officer Wilson’s home address?

She thought she was on the right side of the issue…because from her perspective the officer showed no regard for Brown’s safety…

Do you see how this cycle of un-ending, self feeding  rationalizations  can be used to justify wrongful conduct?

It’s essentially the same state of mind that drives much of the violence in the world. And it is this mindset (to rationalize one’s wrongful behavior) that is such a pervasive character issue today. By now you see the point I made at the beginning of this post was not and is not ‘over dramatizing’ the importance of ‘character’ because the absence of good character is central to all these events.

Any time people act in ways that intentionally cause harm, hurt, and create mayhem; these are all problems that have character deficiency as a root cause. And if we don’t get a handle on ‘replenishing’ our nation’s character deficiency we are sure to see more civil unrest, fear, litigious action and soon more racially charged accusations.

Our nation watches the events of Ferguson, and yes – people do have a right to express their dissatisfaction with our judicial system but they have an obligation to do so within the confines of the law. Otherwise we have no order, we have a disorganized society of mayhem and chaos.

And keep in mind our kids are watching Ferguson and they are receiving messages from the events they see on TV and on the Internet. We have a responsibility to lead them in the paths they should go. Good character is vital to a nation, to a city and to individuals. In my next post I will speak to the issue of character as it relates to kids and what they learn from each other!

If you wish to learn more about us please stop by our site: http://www.wagpub.com

Be blessed and have a great day!

WAG Publishing

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Take Time to Motivate & Inspire a Child — Today!

I recently had an opportunity to share information with a class of 4th grade students regarding what they may want to do to prepare themselves for a future career. It was very rewarding for me personally because I have had a successful career in corporate America and now I have a publishing business (and I am an author and illustrator).

Its funny how earlier in my corporate career, I was all about being highly productive, working towards business objectives and solving problems. I still enjoy that but in the arena of my publishing business model. But my point is I spent 30 years + working in business and industry yet never can I recall getting involved in working with children beyond teaching vacation bible school.

Now, I find it very interesting because I’ve learned (and am continuing to learn) that while some children may seem to be disconnected in terms of whether they are paying attention, some times you can see and make a connection. Sometimes what you say can resonate even if it isn’t necessarily apparent at the time you are speaking with them. Their minds are always evaluating what they hear from adults, as if to decide whether its authentic or not.

And if what you have to say is authentic, if its helpful and they can relate to it…you have an interested audience! Now the only question is what are you going to say that can motivate, inspire and direct them towards becoming excellent? We need more people, specifically more adults to step up to become role models and mentors for children.

I thought my generation was at a disadvantage…but the generation today, at the primary grade levels, have so much more to distract them. They are bombarded with so many conflicting messages from media, games, entertainment, peers, all of which through mediums such as every imaginable technological device…that they are on information overload before they reach middle school!

We need to understand that many parents are also overwhelmed too…So if you can make a difference, if you can carve out the time…do what you can to inspire and motivate a child today. They are after all, our country’s future!

If you wish to learn more about us please stop by our site: http://www.wagpub.com

Be blessed and have a great day!

WAG Publishing

Children and Why we Need to be More like Them.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the differences between adults and children, the way we process things and relate to one another. I’ve noticed that while we both want to be recognized, children really want to be affirmed.

They want to be acknowledge and remembered. I have 6 grandchildren and I instruct the primary grades as a sub teacher when I am not writing, illustrating or publishing. So, I know a little about children…

And I’ve noticed that children really like the adults in their world to acknowledge them. Its a cool thing to notice because even though you may have had to send a child to the office for some behavioral issue, the next day you see them they are often eager to greet you!

They are resilient and they love to be acknowledged even if your last encounter with them resulted in their receiving some type of discipline for unacceptable behavior. I think that’s cool. They know how to forgive and move on with the thing much better than adults.

Adults are so burdened with the weight of trying to reconcile our emotions and thoughts about one another. We attribute intent to other’s actions and we spend a lot of time analyzing our actions. So if we are offended by another adult, it takes more time to process whether we want to be on friendly terms with them again. That is the problem with growing up.

We lose our childlike instincts to just say ‘Ok, I’m sorry’. Being an adult means many things, most of which are great in terms of privileges however when it comes to relationships we are so much at a disadvantage as compared to children.

I think Christ loved the simplicity at which children process things. He loved their hearts. Their ability to accept without judging and scrutinizing, doubting and being sarcastic. Their ability to have faith in something without having to know how it works…

Adults are so skeptical. We need to have empirical proof of everything because the world has taught us to not trust others. We have learned to not accept but rather challenge all suppositions. These are things the world teaches you after you have lived enough minutes on this planet…We can learn a lot from children.

If you wish to learn more about us please stop by our site: http://www.wagpub.com

Be blessed and have a great day!

WAG Publishing