Key Point: The answer to the title is a resounding, “YES.”
Take a few scenarios from the news over the past week as examples. First, the Lance Armstrong doping saga, then the bizarre Manti Te’o scandal. We see character breakdown on the big public stage everyday. An athlete cheats and does not take full responsibility. Politicians attack each other instead of the issues. An investment advisor greedily steals from his clients.
We also see the other side. This week I was inspired by the story of Spanish runner, Ivan Fernandez Anaya, who gave up victory to let a deserving opponent win after they accidentally stopped short of the finish line.
There are a number of other stories like the Anaya story. An athlete wins clean and overcomes adversity in doing so. Politicians meet and respectfully connect for greater good. High profile people do show incredible generosity.
We can do little to influence the behavior of others, but we do have control over how we act in our own sphere of influence. Most of us touch and interact with many. We certainly impact them. Sometimes, and more often than we think, we even inspire them by what we say and do. When we constantly work at improving ourselves and our character it moves us forward. That is enormously rewarding.
That’s why I’ve made it my purpose in life to reinforce the values of self-accountability, respect and abundance. They are not the beginning or the end of what defines character. Obviously traits like integrity, perseverance, will, and others make up the entire spectrum. Research tells us that these values are foundational and have extraordinary impact when connected.
With this in mind, I love it when I come across inspiring stories of great sportsmanship and character. I like to share them when I see them. These small incremental wins are oxygen for the character flame.
- Think about what stories about character have inspired you lately. Please share them with me and others if you can!
Light a flame in the Triangle,