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Monday, September 24, 2007

The Death of innocence, the Birth of Character, and the foundation of choice.

Can you think back and recall when the feeling of innocence died? Can you recall that moment when you realized that this journey we call life was for real and it deals horrendously shocking moments to us? Some may call it the process of maturation, and some would call it just plain growing up. But what if one of these moments occur before we have a solid and sound belief system established? What if we endure such a moment before we were able to develop things like coping skills, communication skills, and reasoning skills? How would such a moment affect our beliefs and ultimately our future choices?

Moments that would seem to undue our innocence also seem to hold within their tight grip an opportunity to spawn seeds of character. However, I think that we need to have strong authority figures around us to help contain and direct the myriad of new beliefs that are generated from these horrendous moments. Imagine the young minds of our childhood holding a mixture of unchallenged beliefs we unconsciously absorbed from those around us. Picture these young minds, metaphorically, as raw iron ore straight from the ground. The ore will need to go through a transforming process in order to eliminate impurities and bond the iron. This process is best conducted by skilled craftsmen who know just how much heat to apply and when to separate the elements. I am likening this to those moments in life that shock the innocence out of us and the needed understanding of those around us.

Once the iron is created it is poured into shapes to be used. I am using this process to illustrate the formation of character. I am sure this is an over simplification of character development, but I am just trying to simply make an analogy. How my character is formed depends on how I perceive the feedback from those around me during the events in my life, coupled with my genetic traits. This mixture will become the foundation of my choices. Bonding these factors into character will not be pleasant I am sure. Maybe it would do more damage to try and develop deep character in the early stages of life. Maybe it is better that the younger generations are only in the beginning stages of character development. But then again, if we are making serious life choices at an early age, maybe there needs to be a process to productively take youth through the fires of character development without creating adults with weak character.



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