COMMENTARY: It’s Not Easy

Let’s be honest. Ethics is not for wimps.

It’s not easy being a good person.

It’s not easy to be honest when it might be costly, to play fair when others cheat, or to keep inconvenient promises.

It’s not easy to stand up for our beliefs and still respect differing viewpoints.

It’s not easy to control powerful impulses, to be accountable for our attitudes and actions, to tackle unpleasant tasks, or to sacrifice the now for later.

It’s not easy to bear criticism and learn from it without getting angry, to take advice, or to admit error.

It’s not easy to feel genuine remorse and apologize sincerely or to accept apologies graciously and truly forgive.

It’s not easy to stop feeling like a victim, to resist cynicism, or to make the best of every situation.

It’s not easy to be consistently kind, to think of others first, to judge generously, or to give the benefit of the doubt.

It’s not easy to be grateful or to give without concern for reward or gratitude.

It’s not easy to fail and still keep trying, to learn from failure, to risk failing again, to start over, to lose with grace, or to be glad of another’s success.

It’s not easy to look at ourselves honestly and be accountable, to avoid excuses and rationalizations, or to resist temptations.

No, being a person of character isn’t easy. That’s why it’s such a lofty goal and an admirable achievement.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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Comments 6

  1. I was struggling with the decision to continue mentoring a particular child again this year due to increased demands on my time–a new job, a time-consuming civic project, a new dog, etc. Then I read your commentary, “It’s Not Easy” and the three words, “keep inconvenient promises” hit me like a lightning bolt! Those words forced me to re-evaluate how I saw my time with this child, and thankfully, I again value the opportunity I’ve been given. Thank you, Mr. Josephson, for your reminders!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Gina for realizing the importance of what you are doing for that child and the importance doing the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay. These are the investments that pay the greatest dividends in terms of our reputations and, more importantly, a sense of value that comes from worthy work. Keep up the good work and keep growing!

  2. I belieeve in this so much. Everything that is worth doing well is not easy. I believe that the most important example of this is raising children.

  3. I think that it boils down to being a person of integrity, knowing that your actions are being watched by those around you. So many of my students do not realize that others watch what they do. Being a person of good character takes conscious thought and determination. We have to think ahead and know how we will act when a situation confronts us so we are ready to reveal the faith with in us that keeps us strong. Thanks for the admonition!!

  4. Pingback: Do what you want? « Balancing Acts

  5. These all are just true. That’s why appreciating and celebrating each single performance of character shown by any child is as important as encouraging her/him to do and be her/his best.

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