“Since everyone is doing it, if I want to have a legitimate chance, I have to do it too right?”
What you do is not as important as how you do it. Those are the words that come back to me when I am tempted to choose what is expedient over what is right. People who bend the rules to get ahead usually get caught in the long run. When I was growing up, my folks were very clear about the importance of character. “Your word is your bond”, my mom would say constantly. Character begins with the little things in life. I had to show that I could be trusted with each and every thing, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Character is tested, revealed, and further developed by the decisions we make in the most challenging times. We have to know what is right and we have to choose to do it. That is how character is developed – by facing those decisions and choosing the right way over and over until it becomes second nature.
Ultimately, character and its growth don’t come from rules but from the small actions of responsibility that occur day after day. That’s why I believe it’s important to give our kids, teens, and co-workers a certain amount of freedom (and the responsibility that goes with it) to allow growth to take place. In the end, character is a blend of inner courage, wisdom, and a sense of duty to yourself, to others, and to something greater than you.
* courtesy of allprodad.com