The Saying "Character Counts" Is Examined In A Contemporary Perspective, And Against Historical Examples.

1000 words - 4 pages

The Value of CharacterThe fact that our people have no character is acknowledged universally, at home and abroad, and in business and government circles. In fact, as Berdyaev says, ?Character is the possession of power over oneself; it is the victory over slavery to oneself". So, what exactly is character? To me, character is choosing values over animal instincts. As G.A. Parwez says on his essay on character, ?Preservation of life is an animal instinct; not so is the preservation of honor. The concept of honor is unknown to the animal world. Preservation of human values elevates the level of life, from the animal to the human.? Today, we can see people appealing to animal instincts over their inherent human values.What is character? The definition best suited to this essay is the moral or ethical groundings of a person. So a lack of character would mean a lack of morals and honor. Today, the very fiber of our moral makeup is being warped from all sides. Look no further than 42nd President William Jefferson Clinton. The former leader of our free world was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and other high-crimes and misdemeanors. Currently, he has been disbarred in Arkansas from practicing law, and the rights to his memoirs have fetched over 2 million dollars. The twisted part is, we accepted his lies, affairs, and his dishonesty. What does it say about a country and its people when a man like Bill Clinton is representing us? Another sickening example of the lack of character is the media. Is it any small coincidence that The National Enquirer and Star tabloids were recently hit by anthrax? Was some crusader trying to make a point about the lack of character in our culture today? The truth is our media is perverted by violence, and sexuality. American television and movies are nothing more than killing, explosions, and drama. Look at the most popular shows on TV. The Sopranos is a constant ratings draw, with shows like Sex & The City not far behind. These programs appeal to the most basic animalistic sensations of reproduction and violence. What kind of message will this send to future generations of Americans? The fact is character is one of the most important things in life and cannot be taken for granted.The true journey in life is not where you end up, but how one chooses to get there. As the old song goes, you take the low road and I?ll take the high road. Where does the word character come from? Since character has everything to do with honor, morality, and integrity; it can be said that character traces it roots to these words. Character can be traced to the beginnings of conscience morality within man as a whole. Today, how we view character is a different way. For example, at my high school, we never had a class on character. In grade school, we could...

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