Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Character" - Our Most Precious National Resource

I've often told students, friends, and fellow teachers, that my primary motivation in choosing to become a teacher or "Character Educator" as I like to think of myself—is to have the opportunity to be a role-model and cultivate and instill the "values of good character" in young adults who are preparing to be the future leaders of tomorrow in this great country we call America. Character, in the form of integrity, trust, personal responsibility, self-discipline, solid moral standards of living and citizenship, is the fabric of a strong, healthy, and righteous society, built by genuinely courageous and respected leaders.

In today's world, it is never easy to stand up and "do the right thing", but people who have the personal courage and convictions to do so are the real heroes of our human race. They answer to a higher calling in supporting their families, communities, churches, and inevitably, their nation. The cornerstone of and litmus test for solid character is "Integrity", which can be described simply as "doing the right thing even when no one is looking".

Character too is something that can never be taken from you—rather, one has to lower their standards and consciously "give" this precious resource away; though the very act of doing so leads to a diminishing level of respect for self and from others. Character though speaks volumes as to who "YOU ARE" and determines whether or not others will trust you—including parents, significant others, and even your employer. In the absence of trust there is in fact no meaningful relationship to speak of. Citizen-leaders without a solid foundation of positive character traits and principles have nothing and instead struggle to overcome the consequences of corruption, a guilty conscience, and become their own worst enemy!

While many in society are out for self-gain at any cost, even compromising their reputations in the process, these people will not be valued and find themselves severely lacking in credibility. As a result, they will struggle to build and enjoy positive personal and professional relationships. Helen Gahagan Douglas said "Character isn't inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought-by-thought, action-by-action. If one lets fear, hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains". John W. Holt, Jr. wrote that "The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do". My own ancestor, Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest U.S. Presidents and a man of steadfast character, said that "Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow—the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing". Finally, Basketball coaching legend and mentor, John Wooden once commented to one of his players with these prophetic words of wisdom: "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".

The choice is yours—will you be a successful leader of tomorrow, motivated by goodwill and solid character-based principles? A person who will stand with the few, as those truly cherished citizens who have gained the trust and respect of others? Or will you exist for your own self-gain and pleasure at the expense of your family, community, and country, contributing little to the betterment of our democratic society while losing everything? How will others remember you when you're gone? It's all up to YOU!

Finally, when we exercise our freedom to vote, we must first, value and then seriously consider the integral importance of character in deciding who will lead our great nation into the future--because character really does matter and any formula for governmental change in the absence of integrity will inevitably yield "flawed leadership" with potentially disastrous national consequences.

- By William D. Park

Michelle Malkin's NYT Bestseller Book!

From one of America's most respected and prolific "political whistleblowers", Michelle Malkin's new book, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies" now 6 weeks at #1 on the NYT Bestseller list....

In her shocking new book, Malkin digs deep into the records of President Obama's staff, revealing corrupt dealings, questionable pasts, and abuses of power throughout his administration. The era of hope and change is dead....and it only took six months in office to kill it.

Never has an administration taken office with more inflated expectations of turning Washington around. Never have a media-anointed American Idol and his entourage fallen so fast and hard.

In her latest investigative tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Malkin delivers a powerful, damning, and comprehensive indictment of the culture of corruption that surrounds Team Obama's brazen tax evaders, Wall Street cronies, petty crooks, slum lords, and business-as-usual influence peddlers. In Culture of Corruption,

Malkin reveals:

* Why nepotism beneficiaries First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are Team Obama's biggest liberal hypocrites--bashing the corporate world and influence-peddling industries from which they and their relatives have benefited mightily

* What secrets the ethics-deficient members of Obama's cabinet--including Hillary Clinton--are trying to hide* Why the Obama White House has more power-hungry, unaccountable "czars" than any other administration

* How Team Obama's first one hundred days of appointments became a litany of embarrassments as would-be appointee after would-be appointee was exposed as a tax cheat or had to withdraw for other reasons.

* How Obama's old ACORN and union cronies have squandered millions of taxpayer dollars and dues money to enrich themselves and expand their power.

* How Obama's Wall Street money men and corporate lobbyists are ruining the economy and helping their friendsIn Culture of Corruption, Michelle Malkin lays bare the Obama administration's seamy underside that the liberal media would rather keep hidden.

Author Michelle Malkin is the author of three bestselling books, including the New York Times bestseller Invasion. She is the founder of two of the Internet's top conservative blogs, MichelleMalkin.com and HotAir.com. Malkin has worked in daily newspaper journalism since 1992, penned a nationally syndicated column for Creators Syndicate since 1999, and served as a FOX News Channel contributor since 2001.

While working as an editorial writer/columnist for the Seattle Times, she won the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) national award for outstanding service for the cause of governmental ethics and leadership, and for investigative columns that exposed campaign finance abuses and corruption by Washington State Democrats, Republicans, and political organizations.

After nearly a decade, Malkin escaped the Beltway swamp and now lives a much healthier, happier, uncorrupted life with her husband and two children in Colorado.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/26/culture-of-corruption-1-on-nyt-best-seller-list-for-4-weeks-straight/

Flapping Lips Syndrome: How America Went to Sleep During the 2008 Presidential Election

"America’s failure to elect a President possessing the Moral Compass of Character required to effectively guide our country can be attributed to “Flapping Lips Syndrome”or FLS--contracted by voters with misaligned priorities who were miserably uninformed and/or misinformed regarding their Chief Executive’s motives, leadership ability, and code of ethics. These na├»ve citizens watched and listened intently to the flapping lips with complete disregard for the orator’s corrupt orientations, actions, and associations with undesirables. The flapping lips political strategy of deception is to catch people’s sleeping minds as they observe the lips speaking of change and democracy, while the charlatan’s mind & hands do everything to the dishonorable contrary--stealing our rights, principles of democracy, and national pride like a thief in the night. Flapping Lips Syndrome then, is a national tragedy of the most ignorant kind—its violent plague is the employment of a most untrustworthy non-patriot in an office that demands our nation’s utmost trust and respect. Judas Iscariot lives again and this time he feasts on a great nation’s principles and her Patriots”.

- The Words of The American Patriot
  (November 3, 2009)