The saying "character counts" is examined in a contemporary perspective, and against historical examples.

Essay by globegateUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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The Value of Character

The fact that our people have no character is acknowledged universally, at home and abroad, and in business and government circles. In fact, as Berdyaev says, ?Character is the possession of power over oneself; it is the victory over slavery to oneself". So, what exactly is character? To me, character is choosing values over animal instincts. As G.A. Parwez says on his essay on character, ?Preservation of life is an animal instinct; not so is the preservation of honor. The concept of honor is unknown to the animal world. Preservation of human values elevates the level of life, from the animal to the human.? Today, we can see people appealing to animal instincts over their inherent human values.

What is character? The definition best suited to this essay is the moral or ethical groundings of a person. So a lack of character would mean a lack of morals and honor.

Today, the very fiber of our moral makeup is being warped from all sides. Look no further than 42nd President William Jefferson Clinton. The former leader of our free world was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and other high-crimes and misdemeanors. Currently, he has been disbarred in Arkansas from practicing law, and the rights to his memoirs have fetched over 2 million dollars. The twisted part is, we accepted his lies, affairs, and his dishonesty. What does it say about a country and its people when a man like Bill Clinton is representing us? Another sickening example of the lack of character is the media. Is it any small coincidence that The National Enquirer and Star tabloids were recently hit by anthrax? Was some crusader trying to make a point about the lack of character in our culture today? The truth is...