Introduction: Will you devote the next few minutes to think about your life and what you will make of it? Will you think with me about Character?

Quotation:"Character is Destiny.” Henry Luce

Briefing: We Want Character Today But Will Try to Develop It Tomorrow

Let’s be honest (We are talking about character, after all): We all like the idea of being strong in character but it takes too much work. Kind of like that old joke: I want patience… and I want it NOW!

We all want others to believe we have good character but we don’t want to put in the hard work required to develop it. We want to think of ourselves as “good people,” and we believe we are because of that time we gave five bucks to the kid who never seems to have money on his lunch card.

Since we are being honest: We can also remember times, with a little painful effort, when we were mean, or cheated, or lied, or didn’t stand up for a friend who was being bullied or taunted. We don’t like to think about that, though.

Some parts of character are hard to understand. What is character anyway? What determines who are “the good guys” and “the bad guys?” What if I like being bad?

Research shows a consistent truth that most of us agree with: Other people matter and the way we treat them is what we call Character.

Four things have a lot to do with popularity and success: The “Big 4 Abilities” of looks, personality, brains, and talent. You see others who are successful because of their abilities. How does character fit into that?

You were born looking the way you do with the personality, brains, and talents you have. You can buy the right clothes, act cool, study hard, and develop your talent, but what you have is all you have. You don’t get a “do-over.”

Character is different. You choose your character. If you are dishonest, you can develop Honesty. If you are a pessimist, you can learn Optimism. Unlike looks, personality, and talent, your character is your choice!

How does character help you be successful with friends and in life? Your abilities get you where you are going in life but your character gives you a life. The car that drives success is ability but the house you live in is character.

C2: Character Challenge is an opportunity for you to think, chat with peers, see movie clips of how others developed character, and decide how you want to live your life. Instead of telling you what to do, C2 tells you what works in life. Then you have to decide what you want to do about it. Your character is your choice.

Movie: The Science of Character(6 Minutes)

Only in this sample lesson do we use a video instead of a movie clip. We think this video will give you a great introduction to character strengths.

Peer Chat: The purpose of Peer Chat is to give you a chance 1) to talk about the character strength with one another, 2) to see where the truths affect your life, and 3) to decide how you want to grow in that strength. You can practice your Active Listening skills when your partner is sharing. 

Have you ever been asked to rate a movie or something online? They often use a scale of 1 to 5 stars where 1 star is the least. Since character is a choice,

  1. How would you rate your overall character right now?
  2. How would you rate your desire to grow in character during the next 6 months

Pair up and chat about your answers.

Briefing Keys: 

  1. Other people matter and the way we ___________________ them is what we call Character.
  2. Four things have a lot to do with popularity and success: The “Big 4 Abilities” of looks, personality, brains, and __________________________.
  3. Your character is your ______________________________.

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