Global Day of Character

Did you know that September 26th is the annual Global Day of Character? Well, don’t feel bad if you didn’t because this is the first year I am aware of this special day.

Started in 2014 by Tiffany Shlain, co-founder of Let it Ripple:  Mobile Films for Global Change, the Global Day of Character is an opportunity to get the conversation started about character in our lives. There are organized events you can participate in, but, to me, the important thing is to simply begin talking about character, in our homes, at work, and in our schools.

At Character First Education we talk about character all of the time. Our reputation is what people think of us, but our character is who we really are on the inside – and is borne out in our choices and behaviors - even when no one is watching. So, in reality, character affects every single *thing* about us.

Character isn’t something we are born with and cannot change. In fact, our character changes over time whether we like it or not. If we do not put conscious effort into deciding who we are going to be and then living up to our own expectations, we begin to drift. And then, much like a swimmer caught in a riptide, we wake up one day and cannot recognize who we have become and how far we have drifted from who we want to be.

How can good people do bad things?

Somewhere along the way, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and decision-making, people can lose sight of who they want to be and begin letting their situation dictate their direction. It is important to always remember that we are the captains of our own ships and, as such, have the power to be intentional about what we choose to do.

How can I take control of my life and my character?

One of the first things you can do is begin by asking yourself a few important questions:

Who am I? When nobody is watching me, do I make good decisions, stay true to my morals and values, and practice sincerity and honesty?

Who do I want to be? No one is perfect. We should always strive to be a better person tomorrow than we are today. We all make mistakes. When we make a mistake it is important to own that mistake and then pick ourselves up and try to do better the next time.

How can I develop my character? Sometimes having an accountability partner can help. Choose someone who you trust and share with them that you are going to try to be better in a certain area. Then ask them to remind you of your goal, especially when you begin to drift off course.

So, take this opportunity to do a little introspection. Are you the person you want to be? If not, what can you do to strengthen yourself on this journey of life? Decide individually, and as a family, to make a conscious effort to improve your character. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad person to begin with. In fact, it means that you have a heart that desires to grow, and growth is essential to life.

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