A photo of Normal Community High School teacher Derrick Shonauer. Shonauer is credited for tackling a gunman at normal Community High School. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
By Matt Drat
Character (noun) the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing, one such feature or trait; characteristic, moral or ethical quality, qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity, reputation.
The dictionary definition of character is easily recited. But to walk out that definition in real life can prove much more challenging. In the last many weeks we have seen the extremes of character, integrity and courage. From the NCHS teacher who risked his life to protect his students to Super Star who recently shared with young people that their actions have consequences, we have seen the heights of character.
And on the other side there is yet another story out of Philadelphia of a group teenagers savagely beating an innocent woman and closer to home the sentencing of teenagers in a 2011 west Bloomington shooting.
The road of character is not an easy one. It is filled with many opportunities to stumble. It takes a concerted effort and desire to do what is right and stand for what is right.
In the next few months we will all have a chance to test our character. Whether it’s our choice in the election, supporting our friends and allies here and aboard or teaching our kids the meaning of honesty, courage and integrity by how we approach our daily actions, character is needed now.
A recent study showed that students, who had expectation set on them about character, not only performed better academically and on standardized testing but also were more likely to live a successful life in the future. So the moral and ethical behavior we live today affects our entire lives. I guess character does count.
This has been Matt Drat on WJBC’s Forum.
The opinions expressed within WJBC’s Forum are solely those of the Forum’s author, and are not necessarily those of WJBC or Cumulus Media, Inc.