TW Viewpoint | Does Character Matter Anymore?May 16, 2018 | Michael Heykoop
Does character matter? In watching politics, I often find myself amazed at how quickly an individual accused of just about anything can be vilified. The ink barely has time to dry on most stories, or whatever the equivalent saying would be for tweets, and then countless politicians declare their outrage at how shameful and immoral the accused is. It appears innocent until proven guilty has given way to the immediate ostracizing of anyone accused of wrongdoing.
Of course, that is if the accused is a member of the opposing political party. If the accused happens to agree with them on immigration, health care and gun control, then "the media is twisting the story" or the accused is being rung up on "baseless charges."
You've likely noted this phenomenon for yourself; even certain media outlets give far more benefit of the doubt to those who share a common political agenda. Can we be guilty of the same misconceptions? A shocking poll from JMC Analytics and Polling asked the following question, concerning allegations against a senatorial candidate: "Given the allegations that have come out about Roy Moore's alleged sexual misconduct against four underage women, are you more or less likely to support him as a result of these allegations?" It is important to note allegations do not necessarily equal guilt, and if "punishment" is imposed at the time of allegation instead of at the time of legal conviction, everyone will in effect have their rights eroded. Still, this seems like a silly question, who in their right mind would say they are more likely to vote for someone because they are accused of sexual misconduct towards a minor? 29% did! While 33% said it made no difference. Click here to see the complete polling results for yourself. Does character mater anymore?
What about the individuals you allow to have a great influence on your life; do you choose them based on their character, or based on some other factor? We naturally tend to gravitate towards those who have similar opinions and backgrounds to us. Should we more carefully scrutinizing those who influence our day to day lives?
It always stands out to me when someone lists what they are looking for in a future spouse: attractive, share common interests, sense of humour, good cook, or great dancer. There's nothing wrong with any of those traits and there is nothing wrong with keeping them in mind when trying to identify a future spouse. However, if we are gauging whether or not someone would make a good business partner, friend, mentor, pastor or spouse-don't forget that character counts! A sense of humour won't help your business succeed if your partner is committing fraud and putting your hard work at risk. It's wonderful to have friends with common interests, but if you can't depend on them are they really your friends. And, while I don't know of too many people that wouldn't like an attractive spouse, what good are looks if it is not an individual you can trust?
I'm not here to say that you have to choose one or the other. If you have a list of important traits for a future spouse, perhaps you've left honesty, integrity and character off because they seem obvious. Yet, how many relationships end in heartbreak because those traits were lacking. When you are trying to decide if and how another person can fit into your life, don't forget-that character does matter!
Not many of us will be put into a position where the character of a Hollywood celebrity or even most politicians are going to dramatically affect us. Who are the important people in your life, and how did they get there? We can't always choose our family; we can't always choose our co-workers or other aspects of our everyday situations. But when we do have the choice, make sure that character counts.