We are living in interesting times. We are foreseeing the impact going forward of the Pandemic. Still, even in referring to it as the Pandemic, I catch myself realizing that these times, this decade ahead, will not be simply defined by a Pandemic. The Global Goals recognized the challenges ahead, identifying 17 areas where work is needed by 2030. As the site itself articulates, “In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals (officially known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs). It’s now five years on, and we have more work than ever to do. These goals have the power to create a better world by 2030, by ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change. Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public to work together to build a better future for everyone.” These are our challenges. They also are our opportunities at school, work, business and community.
I am a man of Optimism. Optimism is distinctly different from simply “being positive”. Optimism sees, recognizes and acknowledges the challenges, while somehow knowing we can “get there”… and understanding the opportunities ahead.
Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Humanity in Star Trek was one of Optimism.
To cut to the chase, I deeply believe that Humanity has a great future. I also deeply believe that it will require work. I believe that it will require us to lead, inspire, educate and unite unlike we have ever needed before. And, I believe that that all will be needed at home, school, work, business, community and all arenas of human endeavour. It is time.
It is indeed, and in deed, time. “The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct” are words to which I wholeheartedly hold. And they speak to yet one more deep and broad belief I have… that character matters most in these times of change and challenge.
Character is not kumbaya. It is not simply about being “good” nor “strong”. It is the practice of virtue.
Virtue is not about perfection. It is about perfecting. It is not about “squeaky clean”. It is about cleansing… of the belief that we are “only human”. Humanity is our highest standard. Inhumanity is our lowest. We have the capacity for great things, and the capacity for otherwise. As John F. Kennedy once said, “We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.”
He also said, “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings” … and … “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy was but a man, but he understood the times, and they still exist ever greater. Each of my own personal heroes have demonstrated such belief, and a belief in Humanity.
Character Leadership and Education, in my experience, education, Enthusiasm and observation is the highest order of Emotional Intelligence. It provides for us the capacity to work our virtues; our highest expression of Humanity.
This is my core belief. This is my core work as both business educator and entrepreneur. It has guided 40+ years in leadership training and development with 19 of those associated with The Virtues Project globally, 16 years working around temperament, 14 years with Dale Carnegie Training, and 25+ in business education. Character and its capacity to build a practical, powerful and meaningful Unity; it is my Just Cause and my Why.
I believe that our Humanity is our solution, that our best expression of that Humanity is through Character and that our best result is that high functioning, cool Unity that will take us beyond these times.
These words ring for me … “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” And Character is our path… at home, school, work and community.
You may or may not believe same. I do.
Deeply, unapologetically, fiercely.
If you do, if you share in this belief (or want to) … let’s go build a better world.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln