Who is responsible for teaching character to our society in this day and age? And even more importantly, who is responsible for teaching character to our youth? Is it the household? Is it the media or our entertainment industry? Or is it our educational system?
It seems that for far too long, a child's character education has been relegated to the confines of their household. Unfortunately, data shows us that parents are spending less and less time with their children these days. And as such, the odds that the small amount of time that parents are spending with their children is focused on conversations leading to the development of good character, are minimal.
Sadly, children are all too often left with either learning their character traits from their friends or from movies and TV. And the likelihood that they are learning any good character visits from these two sources, is indeed quite small. It is doubtful in today's world of heightened violence and instant gratification, that children are being exposed to life benefiting character education to the degree that will produce the positive results that we seek for our nation as a whole. Positive results mean a country that does not come to the brink of economic collapse due to the acts of unscrupulous bankers, mortgage professionals, and politicians. Or positive results that leads to a society that does not unethically invade a country on false pretenses, or torture its enemies of war. Character is the mental and moral qualities distinct to an individual. And when and individual has character, we usually view them as having moral or ethical strength. Or better put, the strength to do what is right.
Therefore, if we as a society do not educate our young people on the practices of good character, or why good character is important, how can we expect that they put any value in them, or that they express those good character traits, as they become adults? It is time for us to start consciously deciding to improve our society. The best way to do this, it for us to begin formally teaching our students character at school. However, in the current education system, character building is not focused on for any core standards. Therefore, we must encourage the adoption of character education , to help students understand why it is important to have good character, and then help them to build it. This way we can all start planning for and actually expecting a more positive and more productive future as a society.