Becky: Does Character Really Matter?
Does Character Matter?
I grew up in a “Leave it to Beaver” type family in the Midwest, or so I’ve been told. The only time I ever heard the word character mentioned in the description of a person was in the context of something like “Boy, that Joe sure is a character.”
I never thought of a person having character, or rather, I never imagined that a person wouldn’t have it. Maybe I led a somewhat sheltered life but I still don’t think my childhood was that out of step with the times.
Fast forward to present. Every day it seems we are faced with details about the life of a politician or athlete that brings their character into question. This brings out the talking heads who can’t wait to tell us what wonderful qualities these people have if we look beyond their offensive behavior. They usually go on to state that we owe them another chance since, after all, he who is without sin cast the first stone sort of argument. Amazing how they will quote Scripture when it fits their agenda. I’m here to state for the record that character does matter, or at least it should.
Let’s look at just two of the much ballyhooed cases that are currently in the news.
First, there’s Anthony Wiener. I will forego all the requisite jokes about the name fitting his actions and get right to the heart of the controversy. Basically he tweeted pictures of his private parts to and “sexted” with numerous young women.
He then denied having done so, hacked his own Twitter account and hired a private investigator to find out who hacked said account paying for this service with campaign funds. After much ado, he resigned from Congress to work on his relationship with his long-suffering wife, Huma. A man of character would have ended his quest for public office then and there.
Apparently his thirst for power or whatever drives him got the better of him and he is now running for Mayor of New York City. Needless to say, more incidents of his Twitter infidelity have come to light. While I have strong feelings about it, I won’t even get into the argument about whether or not what he did was wrong. You can say that it is a matter between he and his wife and that if she can forgive him, why shouldn’t we and I’d have to agree to an extent.
My complaint with Mr. Wiener is that he lied. He lied about doing the behavior then about a mystery person hacking his account and releasing the information, he then lied to the PI who he hired to find the hacker. He lied to the very people that he wants to trust him enough to elect him to a roll where lying shouldn’t be tolerated.
Second, there are the cheaters in Major League Baseball. What ever happened to baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie? While hotdogs continue to be the source of jokes concerning what exactly they’re made of and apple pie has been demonized by the diet police as causing obesity, MLB has been seemingly taken over by men playing a kids game for major league money, all the while enhancing their performance by using illegal drugs. Is nothing sacred?
I could single out a player who appears to be one of the worst offenders, but getting on the bandwagon to bash A-Rod is just too easy. This appears to be a culture of success at any cost where cheating has become, while maybe not the norm, at least a common occurrence. I’m glad to see that MLB is finally trying to clean up the mess, but what about the players who are found guilty?
If we are to believe that character doesn’t matter, we can overlook this lapse in judgment and cheer them on if and when they return from their suspensions like nothing ever happened. We can respect their talent and continue to view all the records they have set and awards they have garnered with awe and wonder.
I guess I’m just not in a very forgiving mood anymore because to me, character does matter. They all knew the rules about doping and yet they chose to do it anyway to get ahead. I want to see their records voided. I want to see the man that came in second for MVP or the Cy Young Award finally receive the accolades due him. It’s not like the rules changed all of a sudden and these players were not aware of them. There have to be consequences for their actions. I will never be able to look at any of their accomplishments the same way.
I think this great country of ours is at a major crossroad. Will we go back to our roots and once again view a persons character as a matter of utmost importance, or will we let it slide like so many of our values have recently? It’s up to all of us to influence the way our country will go. The decisions we make will help shape the character, or lack there of, of the United States for years to come.