The essence of character is behavior, morality, and good will. Character is encompassed in one’s thoughts, words, and deeds and is not reduced to the quantifiable standards that so often measure success. Nor is it confined to the visible metrics used to determine one’s personality and fit for roles and responsibilities. Rather character is what is not seen, easily measured, or often valued. Character does not sustain fame or secure multi-million dollar deals. Nor does it usually result in being the face of movements or social change. Character is valued in principle but not in practice, because the forces in our society are as superficial as the surface of land and as marketable as pseudo pornography on film and social media.
Character cannot be developed or improved by conforming to and being consumed by the folkways and mores of elite. In American society for example, the core values are wealth and individualism, which are aspects of the American dream. These values say nothing about character and consequently, few people strive for or speak on the need for good character, as it pertains to the goals of life. Even in our religious institutions, there is an individualized focus that encourages self-fulfillment and satisfaction above humility, honesty, and other character-centered ideals.
The lack of character in our society is seen when looking at social media posts or reading blogs and articles. It is heard when listening to politicians spew raw garbage that creates long term litter which is eaten up by rats that are attracted to pure rubbish. It is felt when you walk through universities and churches, tasted through the bitterness that has inflicted so much of humanity, and smelt through the nastiness in the elite circles across America.
Those who exhibit strong character endure challenges living in an age of chronic consumerism and cut throat commercialism. The superficiality that is upon us suffers from any attempt at being sincere and sells people to shackles of financial, commercial, and emotional slavery. While future generations could witness innovations and individual successes never dreamed of by our forefathers and fore-mothers, the character drought and famine that will inflict our land will make people even more numb to pain and suffering, and will transform faith and religion into thought processes to ponder and pick and choose from when convenient. Activism and voluntarism will be reduced to snap chats and video clips while the cries of the oppressed will continue to go unheard. Loneliness will skyrocket in leaps and bounds and a sense of community will become extinct, because accountability will turn into a taboo concept that controls and limits people’s ability be independent. The thickness and closeness of family will never be more thin and “God” will be reduced to and thought of as an outdated intellectual theory. That will signify the death of character in our society.