The speech that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King made on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial never fails to inspire me as he fought for equal rights during a difficult time. He eloquently expressed some deep truths and values for every precious member of the human race. One sentence that always stands out is, “I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Regardless of the color of your skin, your physical traits, your education level, your income bracket or any accomplishment you may have to your credit, the one thing that will help you sleep at night – or keep you tossing and turning – is the content of your character.
Have you thought about the character traits that are shown in your life? Would people describe you as mostly honest or dishonest? Hardworking or lazy? Generous or stingy? Brave or cowardly? Positive or negative? Kind or unkind? Dependable or undependable? Friendly or unfriendly? Selfless or selfish? You can probably think of other words for character traits, but today – and every day – you can choose which ones you want to be part of your identity by consistently acting out your best characteristics.
There is a powerful universal principle that applies to us all: You reap what you sow. What goes around, comes around. You get what you give. For example, if you wish to be treated with respect, the most effective way to make that a regular occurrence is to treat others with respect. Is it a guarantee that everyone will respond well? No, because not everyone is concerned about the content of their character. But if you are, you will treat people the way you wish to be treated. It can take time to develop a reputation for good character, especially if you are working on an area that has been difficult for you in the past. Consistency is the key.
There is something so powerful about being able to look at your reflection in a mirror and knowing that the person looking back has done the right things, with right motives regardless of the cost.
Character counts. As we consider what kind of people we want to be, let us all strive to be the kind of people who can stand up to being judged by the content of our character!
Live, Work & Relate Well!