My grandmother used to always say pay attention to your first mind. She would also say when someone or something crosses your mind, pay attention to what your conscience is saying to you. Recently the two words I can't seem to get out of my head are "character" and "integrity." It seems as if those two words don't carry much weight in our society today. What happened?
When I looked up the word "character," it's described as the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another. It also deals with one's mental and moral qualities. The word "integrity" is described as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness.
It seems like we are more interested in someone like Miley Cyrus and her "twerking" and whatever else she stands for, instead of the life and death of UCLA football player, Nick Pasquale, who was killed by a car a couple of weeks ago. When I heard about his death, although he was not a "star," so to speak, on the football field, he was a light when it came to how he lived his life off the field and how he influenced and touched almost everyone he came in contact with in a positive way.
The common thread or chord that the words "character" and "integrity" have in common is one's morals. The dictionary describes morals as, "a person's standards or behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do." I think that explains it right there. As a society (and in some families) our standard of what is acceptable has slipped. We've allowed the world to slip in and corrupt the very core of our judgment on what is good verses bad when it comes to human actions. Are we more concerned about fame and money or a strong foundation for our youth to have a solid future?
Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." I know we live in a society where the color of our skin can still cause someone to judge us in a certain way, but I challenge all of us to look at our own lives and see how character and integrity line up. Is your "content" positive or negative?
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