CHARACTER – Definition


VYE is a program that gets to the heart of learning and performance at all levels of education and carries over into our everyday life.   As a former Career Rehabilitation Counselor and CRC that worked with students in 3 high schools I have concluded that neither academic skills nor the lack there-of are what causes academic failure.  It is CHARACTER.  Having worked with over 3000 different cases of personalities and parents and administrators it becomes easy to quickly see the type of commitment and discipline that makes people successful.  It is not always the smartest person in the classroom that is the best leader.  Nor is it always the student with the worst academic skills that turns out to be the class-clown.  But we all recognize good character in our classmates and peers.

I have worked with students and adults at varying levels of transition including Juvenile Justice Programs, Adult Correctional Facilities, military personnel, professional athletes, social assistance programs, drug and alcohol programs as well as students who had outstanding academic skill sets.

But it is interesting to note that where people start in life does always dictate their success.  Example, often times people who had things handed to them may not have appreciated what they had so they throw it away only to realize they wanted it back after they lost it.  Whereas some who came out of the Juvenile programs or CJS, or various social programs were grateful to get out from under those programs so they could get on with their lives. There are exceptions to everything.

So character or the lack there of is not a unique quality limited to only one segment of society.  It is the essence of what our communities and our world is about.  The worst the character, the greater the crimes that people are able to commit, including illegally injecting people with neural chips or torturing people with microwaves, or gang stalking, or lying to protect themselves from prosecution.  These are not great revelations to our readers, but it is a a topic that will be addressed in future blogs.

CONSIDER:  Do you need to be a Rhodes Scholar to show respect to your teacher or administrators or fellow classmates, to listen in class, participate in class, or to read your books and do your homework?
NO!  People of good character VALUE EDUCATION!  They have a DESIRE TO LEARN.  Some people learn at a very early age that learning is a LIFE LONG experience.

CONSIDER: Do you need to be PERFECT to have self-respect, respect for others, and principled love of people in general?  NO!  But people of good Character do it for the right reasons and in spite of our varying personality quirks.  You cannot hide genuine kindness, good will, mildness, peaceableness, patience and self-control and other virtues.

CONSIDER: Do you need to be on the Dean’s List to Value Your Education?  NO!
Whether you are a student with learning deficiencies in reading or math or if classes come easy for you, a person of GOOD CHARACTER is never pushy, disrespectful toward their classmates nor teachers nor fellow students and administrators.  They are not haughty, arrogant nor rude! They understand that every minute they are in that classroom is valuable and they choose to maximize their learning potential by LISTENING, PARTICIPATING and SHOWING RESPECT for each teacher’s efforts.

CONSIDER: Do we only learn while in the classroom?  NO!  We also learn while walking through the hallways, how to maintain our self-control, to clean up our language, to respect the rights of others, to not take offense when verbally attacked.  Good Character also, learns that EVERYONE has a story to share, even the homeless man on the street.  By respecting ALL people we increase our learning capacity because we are willing to listen to people even when they say things we do not agree with.  We can politely agree to disagree.

CONSIDER: Character is the number one TRANSFERABLE SKILL you can take with you in life! Employers want to know you can be a team player, be counted on to do your job within the corporate guidelines, respect your workmates regardless of your differences.  Persons of Good Character, show up to work ON-TIME, bring a POSITIVE ATTITUDE to the work place, and build their teammates up throughout the day.

noun: character

  1. 1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

Synonyms: Personality, nature, disposition, temperament, temper, mentality, makeup, spirit, essence, identity, ethos, complexion, tone, feel, feeling, integrity, honor, moral strength, moral fiber, rectitude, uprightness, fortitude, strength, backbone, resolve, grit, willpower,

As a former counselor I used to listen to parents blame the teachers, the administrators and everyone but themselves and their student for his or her lack of academic performance.    When the teacher explains that the student does not do their homework, does not participate in the classroom or disrupts the class by using their cell phone or other electronic devices or talking out of turn, etc., the parents want to make excuses. They refuse to believe their son or daughter could ever behave that way. Character development starts at home.  Learning begins at home.

Character is developed in a variety of ways and one of the simplest ways to build character is learning manners in our infancy.  Teaching our children to respect their elders, to say “thank you” and “please” and “your welcome” were the basic manners parents used to teach their children.  As we got older our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even our community elders would teach us how to listen without interrupting others.  They would show us by example how to participate in conversations without dominating the conversation, how to dress ourselves, and so much more.  Our personality traits were sharpened (for the good or bad) by the example of others around us.   We could learn that alcoholism was not a good choices simply by watching a relative make a fool of themselves. I was raised by two alcoholic uncles, and learned right away, that is NOT how I want to live my life!

Good Character respects the property and rights of others.  It does not mark up desks, walls, bathroom stalls, lockers, etc.  It does not STEAL property of others EVER!  Imagine a school environment where everyone,  STUDENTS, TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS ENJOY COMING TO SCHOOL EVERYDAY.
Imagine the quality of education that could be obtained if all students had good character and valued their education and they maximized every moment. Wow! Does that sound like a school you would like to be a part of?

But we know that is not the case. All people including adults, require good direction and good guidance at all levels of life.  Simply look at the corruption in government and public service jobs.  I think we can all site examples of individuals who need to develop better character as well as commend those who have built or repaired their character.

So our VYE initiative was created to invite Parents, students, administrators and all community members to support being the BEST VERSION of themselves they can be.  Regardless of what their current situation may be, anyone can change his/her character.  By supporting VYE and wearing our VYE apparel, you are telling YOURSELF and others that CHARACTER MATTERS, ACADEMICS MATTER and YOU will invest your energy, time and resources to becoming the best person you can be. You will support your teachers and your school districts to ensure YOUR student is not interfering with the educational progress of their classmates, or the district.

Then, regardless of any disabilities or personal circumstances you may find yourself in or patch of badness you may experience in your life, you will not let the negative things define you.  You will rise above your limitations, your mistakes or academic or personal failures and commit to pursuing good Virtues.   Valor will enable you to move ahead no matter how difficult the road ahead may be, or how many times you stumble in school or in life you will have the courage to pick yourself up.  Stop the pity party and the blame game and learn to be responsible.  If you can do this you will eventually become the VICTOR in your academic endeavors and life’s pursuits.

Support our CHARACTER Initiative visit

Ste Brown MS, CEO
University of Bandz