Character, It Matters

We have a defining choice in November, and it is imperative that we become informed before committing to our decision; informed as to the character of those seeking the highest office in the land, for ‘character matters.’ The absence of principled character often results in negative consequences, the impact of which can seriously compromise that which matters most to our Nation and lead us down a path of decline. It doesn’t mean that everything will always go right or be easy, but in the difficult moments that come, and they have and will continue to come, character is what enables us to come through the trials with integrity, tutorial perspective and become better for the experience, individually or as a Nation. It is with principled character that we progress through trials with an ultimate positive result.

When pondering the question about who? We have to ask certain fundmental questions; for example: what are the defining and guiding principles that determine a person’s character? How and in what way is character manifest? Can I trust them to do what is right, or what I think is right. Character establishes the basis of trust; and we need to ‘trust’ our President. We need to trust him or her, to do what is right; to lead our Nation with integrity; to lead with principle and with character above reproach; we need him or her to lead with values that are consistent with our American ideals and values. We needn’t necessarily agree with them on all points, but we should agree with them on what matters to us; what we feel is important!

As we consider the two candidates for President of the United States, we should be wont to know their character; to know them as best as we are able before choosing who will secure our vote in November. Mark DeMoss, principal with the DeMoss Group, offered the following statement in his introduction of Mitt Romney when Governor Romney spoke to the 2012 graduating class of Liberty University. He said, “I was struck by the difference between knowing about someone and knowing them. You see you can know about someone simply by reading about him or her, but you can only know someone by spending time with them.” I agree with this statement completely, but it is difficult for every American to spend time with either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For most of us we are only able to glean insights through what we read about them, or what others might say who we have come to know and trust through personal experience, or by measuring our trust in them by and through observation over time. Another way we can come to know the candidates is by the company they keep, or observing their actions over time. Notice, I said actions, not just in the words they speak. The adage is true that states, “I can’t hear what you are saying because your actions speak more loudly.”

Why the company they keep? As individuals, or as a group, we tend to feel most comfortable associating with those most like us in key measurements; people with whom we share common values, ideals, and perspectives. We typically find discomfort being among those least like us in these key measurements. In fact, we most typically choose friends with whom we share similar core values. This point has been clearly illustrated in the current factions or divisions in our society. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

It is important that we spend time studying, reading and understanding the nature and character of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. In this regard, I am trying to remain objective, but knowing Mitt and Ann Romney personally, and having spent time with them in public and private moments, I acknowledge my bias.

Even so, there is plenty of material available to read to come to a better perspective of these two men. Of course we need to take into account (more…)