Character is important to me.
I found this quote this morning and immediately thought of this photo that I took a few years ago, but didn't know what to do with it.
Sometimes, you see something and it clicks, but you aren't sure why.
I've learned over the years to collect those things that grab our attention, even if we don't know why or can't fathom why we must in that moment, but that's another post.
Character is a big reason why I make handmade jewelry. It's a way for me to understand myself, my community and the world, and to put those understandings in action.
When I was living in Singapore, one of the things that deeply bothered me was the in-your-face-all-of-the-time mass produced whatever that was constant. Singapore, in large part, is a long series of air-conditioned malls.
Except for Little India. We hung out in Little India because the place had character and patina. There was an authenticity there that I craved after all that exposure to the shadow world of commercialism.
I was in the studio yesterday, working on the next Step by Step Wire magazine tutorial that has to be submitted in two weeks. And I was devoid of ideas.
This happens to me when I have something brewing under the surface that needs to be expressed. My creativity gets blocked until I get it out, and this is in large part why I write.
Sometimes I write to myself, privately, or I show up here to help with my creative flow process and to share what's going on, hopeful that in my sharing, something new might be discovered by me or you.
I watched Kevin Costner's movie, Draft Day, a few days ago with Shayne. The story revolves around a football team's General Manager and what his gut feeling says about potential NFL contenders' character. He weights character heavy in his picks. The movie is about what repercussions can occur when you don't weigh a person's character in hiring or in life.
But even more importantly, the way other people try to persuade you not to consider it at all if money is on the table.
Our culture used to value a person's character. Now, I feel that collectively, we don't.
The repercussions of not weighing a person's character are being felt in very painful ways all over the world.
Politics, education, health care...it has all become a game to wrangle out as much money from someone as the law allows. Or even if the law doesn't allow it, people are doing dishonest things anyway, with no personal repercussions for their actions.
Those that are responsible for enforcing the laws, don't anymore, if the cost is too high.
Their actions are harming our society, and often, people that had nothing to do with the reprehensible actions themselves, are being hurt personally.
There comes a time when one makes a decision to support it, or not.
There are many ways to make a difference...and to turn the tide. One way is to not support someone with shitty character with your money. This goes for individuals, small businesses and corporations that act without regard to character.
Another is to weigh personal character heavily in your daily life, on a deep-down personal level.
Taking personal control is to continue to concentrate on yourself, by developing more character; or in others, by saying something or making sure there is an uncomfortable consequence when you see a child or adult acting without personal character.
An important consideration, the most important to my mind, is to define for yourself what character is...and what it looks like in action.
It's something that I am doing for myself...questioning my actions, my thoughts and my value system. It's a journey, for sure...but one that is important if you are concerned about changing the world to be a better place, filled with more kindness and consideration for others and taking a long view about what impact you want to make on the world with your own definition of character.
Tree wisdom...again, is showing up for me in all sorts of interesting and creative ways.