The Character Movement

THE YOUTH FRONTIERS BLOG

What Margaret Wheatley can teach us about character.

“We need a worldview to navigate this chaotic time. We cannot hope to make sense using our old maps.” — Margaret Wheatley, American writer

Hanging in my living room is a beautiful tapestry of a medieval world map. I like its muted colors, Latin script, and fine details, but its depiction of world geography is all wrong. Some continents are the wrong shape and some oceans are too small. If we used this map today to circumnavigate the world, we’d shipwreck many times over and never get to where we need to go.

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What Viktor Frankl can teach us about character.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

Youth Frontiers’ mission around character and community is as important as ever. Maybe even more so … As our typical daily life is being upended, and our way of being in community is changed, we have the opportunity — and the moral obligation — to show young people the importance of rising up to embrace character. We must show our children what is noble, what is good, what living with character looks like in times of difficulty and suffering. This is not only good for our larger community; it is also good for our children’s sense of well-being.

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What Mr. Rogers can teach us about character.

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” — Fred Rogers

In this time of social distancing, it can be tempting to forget about the concerns of others and focus instead on self-preservation. Many of us are trying to regain our sense of security by shoring up all of our resources — money, food, supplies, attention … even as our patience for loved ones in close quarters may be running out. This is an understandable response, yet it is a poor way to live. If left unchecked, we’re in danger of becoming a mean and miserly people.

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What Charles Dickens Can Teach us About Character

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness … It was the spring of hope. It was the winter of despair.”

Charles Dickens understood the complexities of life and the character that surfaces during times of adversity as described in his classic, “A Tale of Two Cities.” Great stress reveals the best and the worst of our humanity; it exposes our innate fears and challenges the resilience of our hope.

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