1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1044: Cultivating Character!
May 27, 2019
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.
-Phillips Brooks, shared by Mary in St Louis, MO
Temperament we are born with, character we have to make; and that not in the grand moments, when the eyes of men or of angels are visibly upon us, but in the daily quiet paths of pilgrimage, when the work is being done within in secret.
-J. Baldwin Brown, shared by Lois in Calumet, MI
It is so much easier to do the right thing when we know someone is watching, or when we suspect there might be a big price to pay if we get caught. The more challenging moments come during those smaller, everyday occasions when we’re pretty sure no one is watching and we’re fairly confident that no one will ever know if we take an ethical short cut.
Those times when we do cut corners a bit don’t necessarily deserve our harshest judgment, and their existence doesn’t prove that we are horrible creatures. It just means we’re human creatures. The trick is to remain curious and avoid beating ourselves up, since they can help us identify our own opportunities for growth and can remind us not to judge others too stridently for their ethical lapses.
Making time and space for internal check-ins to ponder why we made those choices and whether we acted from our highest standards helps transform these mini-lapses into macro-lessons which can ultimately allow us to strengthen our character and enlarge our integrity.
The Ripples Guy
p.s. This is zooming out on Memorial Day here in the U.S., so I hope you’ll consider taking a moment of your holiday weekend to acknowledge those who sacrificed their lives on our behalf. Attend a ceremony, take a walk in a cemetery, or even just raise your glass at a picnic and ask others to do the same.