MEMO From Michael: Happy CHARACTER COUNTS! Week!

CC! week 20th anniversary

I am in Washington, D.C., looking out my hotel window at the Washington Monument, which is undergoing renovation and shrouded in scaffolding. I’m here for a meeting of the Josephson Institute’s Board of Governors.

Two important things happened in Congress last night. Of course you know that both the Senate and House finally approved a budget (for a few months) and re-opened the federal government (is that a phrase you ever thought you’d hear?). Given the intransigence and brinkmanship of the last couple weeks, the votes were not that close, but there were still loud cries of recrimination and accusation.

On this same evening the Senate passed Resolution 272 “designating the week beginning October 20, 2013, as ‘National Character Counts Week.'” The bill, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and cosponsored by a bipartisan group of six other senators, passed unanimously — a true display of nonpartisanship in an environment that has become more than a little contentious.

Of course, it’s not surprising that CHARACTER COUNTS! Week has widespread support. This has been the case every year since it started 20 years ago, with both the Senate and the White House officially endorsing it every year. (Look for the White House’s proclamation in the next few days. Read the full text of last year’s CC! Week endorsements here.)

It’s popular with people of widely different beliefs and political persuasions because it emphasizes basic ethical values that we all can agree on. These values have become known as the Six Pillars of Character — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship — and they are at the core of all CHARACTER COUNTS! programs in schools and communities across the country, and around the world.

I hope you’ll join millions of others and do something to celebrate good character during the week of October 20-26. How? Check out our free resources — activity ideas, parenting tips, handouts, a printable poster and much more. All you have to do is register here.

I wish you a wonderful CHARACTER COUNTS! Week!

— Michael

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Comments 2

  1. Thank you Michael for your passionate pursuit of educating our world on those basic ethical values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

  2. Mr. Josephson,

    I thank you for your tireless advocation of Character and congragulate you on another year of National recognition for Character Counts Week. I can’t help but find it ironic that a group of the most consistently least ethical and moral people in the US would have the audacity to promote character. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, all seem to fall well short of the most basic level of good character on a regular basis. The latest round of Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling debates shows how out of touch and repugnent our Federal Legislators and President are to the Citizens of our great nation. If they want to advocate and celebrate Character, each and every one of them ought to resign their position. Seriously, aren’t you the least bit offended by an endorsement from a group whose actions consistently show that they oppose rather than support Character?

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