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Character Building for Adults
by Neville Blair, adult educator

Character building for adults is neither new nor novel. Many generations of men and women who have gone before us have known the meaning of character. Perhaps they could not write it in 50 words or less, but they knew when they saw a man or woman of character. The qualifications were clear. Everyone adhered to the same objective standard. There are still many who fit this old pattern, but the numbers dwindle rapidly in the face of moral relativism.

Character building for adults calls for men and women to lay aside political correctness and the "I'm okay, you're okay" thinking in the realm of moral values. Younger generations, as well as the "baby boomers" who have been their role models, must return to the objective standards that once formed society's foundations. There is a price to pay, but benefits to gain.
   

If adults build character, what will happen? What benefit, if any, will you personally get out of building character? Answering that question is the first step in character building for adults. You need a strong reason, because the work will be neither easy nor quick. If your reason is weak, you will surely give up before you reach the goal, so let me suggest a small handful of possible reasons.

Character building for adults improves marriages with large doses of respect, trust, integrity, forgiveness, etc. that strengthen the marriage bond. It helps us create and maintain sound governments, a mission that uncharactered terrorists cannot accomplish. It makes government leaders more accountable, and less eager to levy heavy taxes on citizens. Character building for adults makes our schools safer. It reduces crimes of kidnap, rape, etc. as it spreads throughout society. If, as Theodore Roosevelt said, "To educate a person (adult) in the mind but not the morals is to educate a menace to society," then character building for adults is to educate a peacemaker for society.

Character building for adults benefits greatly from nonfiction books that present the "how-to" of the task. These need not be scholarly. They need not be university textbooks. The important requirement is that the books we select rest every argument on objective standards, and present carefully crafted definitions in which we can marinate our minds. Such books are available. Seek them out.
 

 

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