Each and every moment is an unearned gift. And it’s up to us to make every moment count. We do that by living each moment mindfully, in communion with the larger reality that connects us all. And whatever you call it, it’s this “higher power” the narcissists among us refuse to even recognize let alone serve. Truly noble characters place all their trust in this ultimate reality, and not in themselves or anyone or anything else.
We humans are not merely products of our constitution or our environment. Yes, we have innate predispositions. And yes, things that happen to us influence us. But we’re unique among all creatures in our capacity for choice. And a variety of powerful experiences has taught me that a person’s will is capable of being nurtured, strengthened, and correctly directed.
We become the master of our appetites and aversions when we face and pass crucial tests of character. And the most crucial tests come with temptation, adversity, and power. These tests come early on and often throughout life. We build strength of character by facing and passing life’s little tests in our early years. This prepares us to face the bigger tests later on.
Becoming a better person takes a lot of deliberate, sustained effort. And you have to have the right motivation to do the work. External pressure can lead a person to make changes that are often superficial and short-lived. Genuine, lasting changes come when the motivation is internal. That happens when a person sets pride aside and willingly embraces a higher cause.
When it comes to a developing and maintaining a sound relationship, trust and commitment go hand in hand.
America’s true greatness lies not so much in her military might or economic power but in her people of good character who honor her best ideals and upon whom the very survival of freedom depends.
Many of us depart from our daily Scrooge-like ways to love just a little better over the holidays, and doing so inevitably brings us joy and for a time makes the world a better place. But it doesn’t take long for us to get back to business as usual.
Whether you’re seeking help for yourself as the victim or survivor of an abusive relationship, or trying to get some assistance in dealing with a character-impaired individual, getting the right kind of help can be a real challenge.
Neurotics want to do the right thing and for things to go well as a result. They take it hard and are perhaps too quick to engage in self-reproach when things go wrong. Disordered characters, on the other hand, tend to take adversity in stride and blame everyone and everything else when bad things happen, even when those things really stem from their own actions.
Because what we believe in our hearts is so crucial to how we act toward one another, we must be willing to embrace the reality that what we believe matters, and sometimes, matters a lot.