OWS From a Different, More “Colorful” Angle

There are currently hundreds of mostly young people (“young” is anyone younger 30?) exercising their Constitutional right to assemble and protest the status quo all across our nation. I was driving to work the other day thinking about these folks and their dilemma. They’re frustrated with their college loan amounts and the corresponding lack of jobs, but are they really as anti-capitalist as they say? (Notice please the correct usage of all three “there, their, and they’re”) I wonder how many of them would be protesting if they were among those earning $250k or more annually.

More importantly, I considered the many unexpected changes in my own life. For a time, I was a REALTOR, and I frequented homes that were on the market. The advice of professionals in that business is always to paint and decorate in neutral tones. After several years of seeing home after home of NEUTRAL, let me tell you I went home and painted my great room walls “Energy Red!”

LIFE is not NEUTRAL

and Neither am I!!!

It is the hardships of life that flavor us, that color us, that build our “Character!” (There’s that word again!) I grew up with a gramma that told me repeatedly, “If it comes too easily, you won’t appreciate it!” There have been several times in my life I needed help from friends or family. Sometimes it was emotional support. Sometimes it was a ride to work I needed. There was a 3 year period when I was first divorced that I worked a graveyard shift because it seemed like the least disastrous time to leave my three teenage children home alone while I worked. I didn’t have a car, so I walked to the bus each night at 11:20 pm and returned just in time to put them on the school bus, but they had to get themselves up & dressed and get breakfast by themselves. I cried almost every night as I walked to the bus, praying God would guard my kids as they slept. He did and we got through that “season” and came out the other side stronger!

Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.
Henry Clay, statesman, orator, politician (1777-1852)

If, as these protesters want, the government was able to redistribute the wealth so that every person had the same, every need was met, every fridge filled, a car in every driveway, every school debt erased, where would they gather character?

“That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.”
Frederick Nietzsche

The human was created, designed to conquer, to overcome, to be a creator and to rule his or her own destiny. Life is filled with obstacles, hurdles, and storms designed to bring out the individual shades, and colors and textures of our unique personality and … CHARACTER. Without challenges, there is not richness to success. Someone once asked me why the Golden Rule is called that. What is so special about gold. Is it just because it is valuable? I answered no, it is valuable because of the process necessary to bring forth the final product. It is difficult and dangerous. In ancient times, the gold would be melted, the impurities floated to the surface and were skimmed off by hand at least seven times. Today, a furnace is still used – a furnace that is capable of reaching temperatures of 2,000 degrees F!

Working toward a goal is how the “gold” of our character is formed. From the time we first learn to walk or talk to the time we close our eyes in death, life presents challenges to us to conquer that will bring out of talents, our abilities, and our unique character. To shun this process is to shun life!

Our lives teach us who we are.
Salman Rushdie, Anglo-Indian novelist (b. 1947)

For both rich kids and poor kids: “What if the secret to success is failure?”

Indeed, research by psychologist Angela Duckworth has shown that “measures of self-control can be a more reliable predictor of students’ grade-point averages than their I.Q.’s.” She looked at a full-range of character traits that lead to success in populations as various as West Point cadets and New York middle-schoolers, and named the overall quality “grit,” or the combination of a passion for a single mission with an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission.

What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?

Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten. CONTINUE READING

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”
Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)

RELATED READING:

  • How to Purify Gold
  • Building Character
  • Positively Unique
  • Character Matters
  • What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?
  • Research on CHARACTER COUNTS!: Summary