One of my former high school football teammates jokingly said during our playing days, “We don’t have a morale problem, we have a moral problem.” Now a successful head coach, he must have remembered something of his own observation. His teams perform with respect for the game and for opponents, regardless of the outcome. Our high school trophy case is full of the evidence.
Character is demonstrated daily in my work environment of dedicated healthcare staff, but sadly, not on the national stage often enough. It does no good here to rehearse all the examples of failure of character, but only to recognize them. It is good to see the many who ignore the example of those in the spotlight to provide their own local examples. My little group of close friends growing up represents products of service to others. We are: a church pastor, a high school principal, a retired deputy sheriff and a hospital chaplain.
Until a few years ago, it had not occurred to me the unlikelihood of how we would turn out. A casual glimpse of us on a given Friday night would have predicted lackluster adults with not much to contribute to our communities. We did not always show a lot of promise. Yet, with a lot of discipline (from those who saw more in us ), examples (from those same people) and opportunities (again, from those adults who insisted we do better) we did some things worthwhile. What’s more, we’re not done. Even when we retire, we will still no doubt be active in our circles.
The point of this is, our faults were confronted to become incidents rather than life directions. We needed to recognize what character looks like and thankfully we did. We are also thankful for and to those who mirrored for us what we needed to see. What we are is not as much of our own making as it is of the character we saw in our predecessors. This all happened without one major network being involved.