Originally created 11/22/05

What happened to good character?

In American society, character is on life support. The aphorism "It's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game" is fast becoming the exception, not the rule.

Professional athletes inject steroids to enhance performance. Political leaders skew intelligence data to justify invading sovereign countries. A corporate icon, such as Martha Stewart, circumvents the securities laws for personal gain. And, companies such as Procter and Gamble give cases of laundry detergent to employees for making charitable contributions. Sometimes, the end does not justify the means.

The problem is that people and businesses are too preoccupied with looking good instead of being good. What is needed is a resurgence of character. The words of John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, still ring true. He said, "Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

Kevin Palmer



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