Strengths of Character

Awhile back my dad sent me the link to an article. "What if the Secret to Success if Failure" from the New York Times. It was an interesting read on the importance of character. In the article the author referenced another book- Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman, which I decided to have Paul check out from the University library just to see what it had to say.

Now when I say book- don't picture a educational or parenting guide on character building in your children. You'd be way off base. This is an 800 page psychology study. It's not exactly light reading. But I've been making my way through. Thoroughly reading some sections and skimming some of the other sections- searching for the information relevant to my situation and needs.
So far it's been very interesting. The authors have narrowed the list of strengths down to 24- universal across culture and time- and categorized them into 6 groups. They discuss their criteria for narrowing down these traits before diving into the details of each of the 24 strengths.

They range from curiosity and creativity to gratitude and hope. From leadership and fairness to bravery and persistence. These strengths cover cognitive, social and emotional virtues.

We (the human race) all have a lot to learn, a lot to improve upon. We all could use a lesson on being virtuous. We could all use a little character building. To rearrange priorities and relearn the value of wisdom and humanity. But all I can control is myself and my family.I can give my kids the best chance at becoming the strong people we all have the potential of becoming. And this is where I am starting; with a book, a list of character strengths and time.

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