Posted by: campkehonka | August 9, 2010

Character Development – A Code for Self-Concern

…from the Ephemera Pile.  In re-reading this, there are hints and elements of Bally’s “Thumbnail Code for A Good Life.” Read, enjoy and apply!

Choose wisely your friends and, in-so-far as possible, your other associates. Everything you do, see, say and think add up to form your character.

Keep your emotions in check. People are inclined to act on emotions rather than on reasons. Practice self-control and self-restraint. Don’t let misguided indulgences today handicap your future.

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” –  Samuel Johnson

Personal freedom is tied to individual responsibility.
No man is free who is not master of himself.” – Epictatus
A person does not have a God-given freedom to be obnoxious or a burden to family or society; a person does have a God-given responsibility to share in constructive growth, especially in human relationships.

Integrity, honesty and trustworthiness must be instilled into your other attributes.

Visual values deserve your attention. You should look the part of whatever you aspire to become. Most impressions of the five senses are by eyesight.

Watch your language.
Language is the dress of though. Every time you talk, your mind is on parade.” – Samuel Johnson
Avoid profanity and vulgarity; then you will never offend anyone, not even people who sink to that level. People who care about grammar notice whether or not you care. It is a signal of gross negligence when even college graduates violate elementary grammar: Yeah – er- anda – those  kinds of things – asked her and myself – to go with Mary and I. Discipline yourself in thought, grammar and expression. Never too late!

Writing is an art that becomes increasingly rewarding. Practice makes perfect. Your thoughts usually would be better organized when written or, at least, when outlined in writing.

Educate yourself. Parents, schools, colleagues may be available to help, but no one can educate you; you have to do it yourself. Care enough to excel in more than one skill. Remember:
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” – Henley

Do your homework for school and BEYOND; establish the habit of preparing well in advance to meet scheduled obligations. As a member of a planning group, do your homework; don’t go empty-headed, empty-handed.
“Time was invented by almighty God…to give ideas a chance.” – N. M. Butler

To cope with situations spontaneously, you must have the strengths and courage of well-established resources and habits. Cope COURAGEOUSLY –
Courage isn’t a brilliant dash
A daring deed in a moment’s flash;
….
But something deep in the soul of man
That is working always to serve a plan.
….
For who would strive for a distant goal
Must always have courage within his soul.
   –
Edward Roland Sill

Fortify yourself emotionally against change beyond your control such as: crises, accidents, death.
“There is nothing more cowardly than to be beaten down by sorrows which nothing we can do will change.” –  Theodore Roosevelt

Gain a GLORY, more than one, in case a change is desirable or unpredictable.
Oh, you gotta get a glory
  In the work you do;
A  hallelujah chorus
  In the heart of you.
Paint, or tell a story,
  Sing or shovel coal,
But you gotta get a glory,
  Or the job lacks soul.
   –
Excerpt from The Glow Within by Berton Braley

Exercise imagination; cultivate an innovative spirit; understand the creative process and your own creative potential. Read about recent research and other literature on this subject. Read The Courage to Create by Rollo May.

Aim to excel; opportunities to excel are unending. Read Excellence by John W. Gardner.

Practice social amenities and manners on basis of thoughtfulness. Your manners are a reflection of how much you care about yourself and others.

Kindness and love at their truest encompass unwavering loyalty and unfailing fidelity toward people and principles. Kindness leads to concern, concern leads to service for the well-being of family, friends and all peoples of the world. Family is the basic, inviolable unit of society, hence in most instances, should receive prior attention.

Epilogue: Don’t we all witness enough variables in the “unchangeable” to suspect some sort of supernatural plan and control? Who but your God, or mine, could contrive and control the intricate patterns and colors of seashells? Who else could assemble and evolve down through the ages each person’s body and brain uniquely, so as always to be ahead of the complexities of vast inventions and other influences which evolve our characters and change our lives?

Have faith in your God, and in the ultimate good. And remember, you are a partner in excelling toward that ultimate good.

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