Character, Citizenship, and Leadership: Kent’s perspective

Growing up who were your role models?  My role models were many.  My Dad modeled a life of quiet decency.  He never raised his hand and rarely raised his voice when angry.  He was dependable and kind.  As a building contractor he was honest and set high standards as a craftsman. His faith life was foundational to how he lived and who he was.

Conversely at age seventeen I worked for a manager in a supermarket who showed me what not to be.  I watched as this manager humiliated and bullied his employees.   He wanted to make the point that ‘he was the boss’ and people should do what he wanted out of fear.   I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to be like that’.

In these first 100 days of the Trump presidency where are the people of character?  Who are the positive role models that we want our youth to emulate?

David Brooks, New York Times columnist and conservative commentator wrestles with such questions.   In his  book, ‘The Road to Character’ introduces us to people well-known and little known, who exhibited positive values and qualities that we call ‘character’. He focuses on the deeper values that inform a well lived life. He challenges the reader to rebalance the scales between our ‘resume virtues’ – achieving wealth, fame and status – and our ‘eulogy virtues’, those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty and faithfulness.

Brooks points out what is painfully obvious, that to often our leaders, political and otherwise, are driven by ‘resume virtues’. Such leaders are caught up in accumulating power, wealth and status and will do whatever it takes.  Character is secondary to outcomes.

In the Netflix series: ‘House of Cards’ we are introduced to Congressman Francis ‘Frank’ Underwood and his wife Claire.  These characters played by actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, are devoid of character and will do whatever it takes to achieve their end.  In ‘House of Cards’ the ends justify the means.

In watching the Trump presidency unfold I see a president and administration who will do what ever it takes to achieve their ends… Make unfounded accusations (President Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower) and make unfounded statements as fact as in a recent interview in Time Magazine:

Thus far with a few notable exceptions the Republican controlled Congress has overlooked President Trump’s falsehoods to get the ends they want:  Repeal of the Affordable Care Act; overhaul of Tax Code; deregulation of environmental safeguards etc.

Is this the message we want to send to our children?  That the ends justify the means?  That you can do and say anything you want in service to what you consider a greater good?

I’m not going to be like that.  How about you?

Our nation is desperate for women and men of character.


2 Responses to Character, Citizenship, and Leadership: Kent’s perspective

  1. bruce says:

    are you familiar with Hugh Ross with RTB? Discovery Institute?


    • I am. An thoroughly discredited apologetics purposes organization. Of the many members of this group like Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Hugh Boss none has ever managed to successfully propose or defend any theory incorporating Intelligent Design. They merely argue against evolution and or a creationist belief camouflaged with false evidence

      For example, complex specified information. (CSI)

      Essentially CSI claims that improbability of a sequence occurring by chance that fits a particular preconceived pattern must mean it was designed. It does not according to a majority of mathematicians, physicists, and others.

      Intelligent Design is biblical creationism with designer clothing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s