From our guest contributor Michael Josephson.
The older I get, the less I know — but I know some things:
I know that I’m a work in process and that there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be.
I know that I don’t have to be sick to get better and that every day brings opportunities to improve my life and my character.
I know that it’s easier to talk about integrity than to live it and that the true test is my willingness to do the right thing even when it costs more than I want to pay.
I know that character is more important than competence.
I know that it takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it.
I know that I often judge myself by my best intentions and most noble acts, but that I’ll be judged by my last worst act.
I know that I can’t control what will happen to me but that I have a lot to say about what happens in me.
I know that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
I know that attitudes, both good and bad, are contagious.
I know that winning is more than coming in first and that there’s no real victory without honor.
I know that it takes a conscientious effort to be kind, but that kindness changes lives.
I know that neither gratitude nor forgiveness comes naturally; both often require acts of will.
I know that real success is being significant.
I know that happiness is deeper and more enduring than either pleasure or fun and that I’m generally as happy as I’m willing to be.
I know that the surest road to happiness is good relationships and that the best way to have good relationships is to be a good person.
Michael Josephson is an influential and internationally renowned champion of character education for youth and ethical conduct in business, government, policing, journalism, sports, healthcare and law. He is credited by many as the person most responsible for reviving and professionalizing the character education in school and youth-serving organizations. In 1992, under the auspices of the Josephson Institute he created CHARACTER COUNTS!, the world’s most widely implemented character development initiative based on a common language of shared values – the Six Pillars of Character) and Pursuing Victory With Honor (1996), a companion program promoting ethics in sports.