Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to our Academy families about the importance of character in the lives of their children. Now, I have spoken on that subject in the past. Because of that, I didn't simply want to focus on "What is character?" or "How to develop character?" But, I just wasn't sure what to focus on or how to present it to the families.
In my preparation, I came upon an article entitled, What is Character.
Cultural historian Warren Susman researched the rise and fall of the concept of character, tracing its prevalence in literature and the self-improvement manuals and guides popular in different eras. What he found is that the use of the term “character” began in the 17th century and peaked in the 19th – a century, Susman, writes, that embodied “a culture of character.” During the 1800s, “character was a key word in the vocabulary of Englishmen and Americans,” and men were spoken of as having strong or weak character, good or bad character, a great deal of character or no character at all. Young people were admonished to cultivate real character, high character, and noble character and told that character was the most priceless thing they could ever attain. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, however, Susman found that the ideal of character began to be replaced by that of personality.
But character and personality are two very different things.
A case in point would be a book, published in 1936 by Dale Carnegie entitled, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It is one of the best-selling books of all time and one of the most influential books of all time. However, that book is a “self-help” book that deals with personality, not character.
Fast forward to the 21st century which I think we can call “Personality 2.0.” (Just think “Kim Kardashian!”) In December of 2019, the Business Insider released its list of the 26 most popular YouTube stars. With 102 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, the title of the most popular YouTube star goes to a young man that goes by the name of PewDiePie. He is known for his popular videos where he gives commentary while playing video games such as Minecraft. It is estimated that his net wealth is $30 million dollars. Ok. He has some personality. He has some money. But what about his character? I’m not too sure, although, in 2017 he paid 2 men to hold a sign that read, “Death to all Jews.” Don’t know that that speaks too well of his character, but he sure does have a lot of personality!
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, And loving favour rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1
South Charlotte Baptist Academy believes strongly that character is fundamentally important to the success of any child and that the development of good character will benefit the child now and in all of their future endeavors. That is why all of our teachers incorporate character training into everything that they do. The difference can be seen throughout the school year as the child develops and matures. For that reason, we would encourage our current families to continue their enrollment at South Charlotte Baptist Academy so that the character development that has begun can continue to be built upon! And, this is why we would encourage new families to consider South Charlotte Baptist Academy for the educational needs of their children!