Role models: Character is key for everyone
By Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
As the author of four children’s books I love to create stories which entertain while promoting good values and character. How would you define character? Some might define character as “the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.” I believe it’s a “moral and ethical quality” that is part of a person’s nature. I think character is a special part of your personality that guides you toward making the proper choices. In my humble opinion character is sadly lacking in today’s society. It could be because single parents are not able to instill the proper values in their children. They may not realize it’s a top priority, as it could have been missing in their own upbringing.
We’ll start with humility which I would say is a modest feeling of one’s importance. Another way to explain humility would be a natural meekness. If you are an arrogant self-absorbed person you are completely consumed with your own worth. Have you tried to conduct a conversation with such a person? It’s completely boring hearing about nothing but himself/herself. More importantly, how can you make a positive difference for others when you’re only interested in yourself? It would seem you’d be a dreadful role model. In my view, regardless of your accomplishments, there is always more to learn and ways to improve. If you keep an attitude open to change, you’ll learn and grow tremendously as an individual.
Now we’ll explore determination as a very important character trait. If you are a determined person I believe you persevere through the difficult situations. You have dreams and goals that you pursue, even when they seem too big to reach. When I was a little girl I wasn’t walking at the usual age, so my parents began taking me to various doctors. When I was four years old one specialist declared that I would never walk. My Dad was infuriated that someone would think he had the power to decide such a thing! He picked me up and stormed out of the office. My Dad told me not to pay attention to what the doctor said. My Dad said, “Just because he said that, it doesn’t mean he’s right.” My Dad made a decision that changed my life, proving the doctor was wrong. If my Dad had listened to that doctor, I never would have realized my dream. When things are difficult, remember that you have the power to change many circumstances. Perseverance is the key to success.
Finally, we’ll talk about integrity. In my house we were taught to be honest in any situation. We had to uphold the truth. In order to illustrate my point, I’ll tell you the story of an event that happened when I was very small. My Dad had decided I could enter an event called the grooming class in a horse show. It didn’t involve riding. All I needed to do was walk a big white horse named Laddie into the ring. The judge would examine every detail of his appearance. He would check if Laddie’s coat was shining. He would see if his hooves were polished. He would check to be sure Laddie’s mane and tail were free from tangles and perfectly clean. While walking slowly around Laddie, the judge made notes on his pad. Finally he asked, “Did you groom him all by yourself, honey?” I answered, “No, my Daddy helped me.” I was thrilled with my blue ribbon, even though everyone else got one too.
I left the ring, and Daddy said, “You probably would’ve gotten a special prize if you had told the judge you groomed Laddie yourself.”
“But Daddy, it wouldn’t be the truth,” I answered. He smiled and gave me a big hug because he knew I had made the right choice.
I can tell you without reservation that the directors of the Claire Power Murphy Foundation stand for good character and values. We’re working together to help make the world a better place for everyone. We want to be good role models. How about you?
copyright 2014: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne