Character Your Number 1 Transferable Skill
What are standards
For the purposes of our discussion standards are synonymous with quality and excellence, exemplar. When associated with character it is related to principles of conduct informed by notions of honor and decency. There is an ideal, code of behavior or morals, ethics or standards to live by.
As you examine your progress this year and look back on ALL of your school years, ask yourself, what are YOUR standards? Have they gone up or down? Do you demand more or less of yourself? Ask yourself what has been your family’s standards in the areas of speech, conduct, ethics, moralities, integrity. Would you view them as high, moderate or low? More importantly what is the basis for your standards?
To what do you compare your standards: To other people, actors, athletes, politicians or do you pattern your standards after a spiritual being? How high you soar is determined by whom you choose for your pattern.
Birds of a feather flock together
No doubt you have noticed that people who smoke hang out with other smokers. It applies to all behavior; People who swear, alcoholics, druggies, bullies, athletes, all hang out with people with similar characteristics. There can also be overlap of multiple interests. It even applies with low self-esteem, poor self-image, self-hatred. Misery loves company! Simply look around your schools. Who sits with whom in the school cafeteria? Who walks down the halls together or hangs out together during breaks between classes?
So what does your choice of friends and associates say about your values?
Are they racist? Are they prejudice? Are they corrupt? Are they hypocrites? Do they value life or do they think they have the right to mistreat or bully people? Do they follow a higher calling or do they find the lowest forms of examples to imitate? Is that how you want to be represented? Is that the type of “standard” you want for yourself?
These questions are important for you to answer NOW! Because the longer you associate with individuals who are not about improving themselves on a daily basis the more your life will remain the same. You must take control of YOUR decisions and own the them. Right or wrong; good or bad. YOU accept the consequences.
A prudent person would build their standards upon the highest platforms of morality and ethics, and integrity. Unfortunately, our society has failed in teaching and modeling this most important aspect of personal growth. Since no one has “SEEN” a perfect example we must look for the good in others and praise it, while incorporating their best qualities into our own character.
If they can violate the most basic of human rights to torture, kill, rob, frame by decree, shame, harass, stalk, bully ad-nauseam, then get out your PF Flyers and Red Ball Expresses and run away as fast as you can.
Are you one of THOSE people? Do you know any of THOSE people? If you are or know someone like that, please take out the magnifying glass the study them with a fine tooth comb. It will not be hard to find their faults, their hypocrisy, their crimes, their history of violence and hatred, some murders, tortures, breaking and entering, conspiracy to commit murders and hate crimes, and generally just pure badness. Now ask yourself, is that how you want people to see YOU!
When you graduate either this year or in the years to come, will you look back on your life and BLAME your association for your lack of effort in the classroom? Will your present associations have negative repercussions on your future actions because you allowed their negative habits and ideologies to adversely impact your thinking process, thereby lowering the altitude from which you can soar?! Learn to identify toxic people in your associates.
In the meantime, you can work on developing a personality that is built upon higher standards. Did you know love is more powerful than hatred? It even resonates at a higher frequency than hatred? It takes more strength of character to remain calm than to yell and scream and a calm disposition actually has healing properties?
So the next time you look at your character, I hope you can say you are on an upward path and climbing.
Steve Brown is the CEO of UniversityofBandz and Character 1st and writes articles on character development and character repair to help our youth, inmates and anyone who is trying to move forward, understand they can change. They are NOT the words or definitions that society dumps upon them. Just as we wash stains from our physical garments we can wash stains of imperfection, poor judgment and bad motives away with positive, moral, ethical ACTIONS that support our words.
People would rather SEE a sermon that HEAR a sermon, so be the example you want others to believe you can be. If you stumble, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and walk tall and straight. If your friends fall, help them to get up and help them get on the path to a better life as well.
Be the BEST You!
Ste Brown MS, CEO