OBSERVATION: U.S. Senate on character: Senate Resolution 2012

Whereas the well-being of the United States requires that the young people of the United States become an involved, caring citizenry of good character; Whereas the character education of children has become more urgent, as violence by and against youth increasingly threatens the physical and psychological well-being of the people of the United States; Whereas, more than ever, children need …

OBSERVATION: President Barack Obama on CHARACTER COUNTS! Week

Presidential Proclamation NATIONAL CHARACTER COUNTS WEEK, 2012 With every step in our journey toward a more perfect Union, Americans have drawn strength from the values that bind us together as one people. Personal integrity, mutual respect, commitment to service — these timeless ideals have guided our Nation’s progress for centuries, inspiring us not only to see the best in each …

COMMENTARY 779.1: Dying From the Cold Within

One of the great challenges to our humanity is acknowledging and overcoming our natural tendency to think less of and discriminate against people who are different than us racially, ethnically, religiously or ideologically. Despite persistent rhetoric about prizing diversity, political debates often reflect disdain and contempt for those we disagree with and prejudices of all sorts are more readily stated.  …

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT FOR TEENS: Failing the Integrity Test

This is Michael Josephson with something to think about. Chad and three of his friends were college seniors and they all had to take an important physics exam on Monday. Chad persuaded his buddies to take a weekend trip several hundred miles away to go to a rock concert. They all agreed they would study in the car driving there …

OBSERVATION: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

The Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” Life rarely demands grand acts of valor where we put our lives on the line for a principle or person we love,  but it often demands  the strength and fortitude to do what we are afraid to do, to do what we don’t want

WORTH READING: THE ASPEN DECLARATION. In July 1992, the Josephson Institute of Ethics hosted a summit in Aspen, Colorado bringing together ethicists, educators and youth-service professionals to identify shared ethical values that could be the foundation of character education programs. The result was the Aspen Declaration, the seminal document for the CHARACTER COUNTS! movement which presently engages about 7 million children and families worldwide. (click to see the Declaration)

Click to see 12′ x 25′ mural by Nadi Spencer at Monson Sultana School in Tulare County, CA