Andrew Napolitano, the former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge and now frequent television news analyst, attributes much of his success to good character development as a kid.
Work as hard as you can, treat everyone fairly regardless of race, nationality, or creed, and always stick with the truth are a few of the lessons Napolitano was taught by his family. However, good character development is an ephemeral term. For one thing, it shouldn’t be confused with self-confidence and a belief in one’s self.
In the first Godfather movie, Vito Corleone, played by Marlin Godfather, asos, “Tell me. Do you spend time with your family?” When he gets a positive response he says, “Good, because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
But apparently, the Godfather, in the Godfather’s scheme of things, there is nothing wrong with an aide cutting off the head of a price horse raise and putting it into a producer’s bed to persuade him which way to cast his next film. Nor is vengeance and taking the law into his own hands. No, we are talking more in the way of honesty, leadership, trust, courage, and patience.
Unfortunately, many people have a very skewed opinion of what it means to have character development, and also what are the consequences.
For example, professional sports used to be contests of talent and friendly competition. Yes, they wanted to win, but not at any costs. Now, Andrew Napolitano has seen a massive change and below are some prime examples of sports heroes displaying bad sportsmanship.
In professional basketball, the Bad Boys of the Detroit Pistons changed that with enforcers on the court such as Bill Lambier. In baseball, so many players were on steroids that it practically ruined the sport. In boxing, Mike Tyson bit part of the ear of Evander Hollyfield, Cyclist Lance Armstong was stripped of all his medals for doping, and meanwhile, Denver Broncos Linebacker Bill Romanowski was spitting in the face of his opponents. All of this exhibits a complete lack of character development. Of all the possible character flaws parents can teach their kids is to tell the truth under all circumstances.
Former presidents Richard Nixon and Donald Trump will perhaps go down as the biggest liars in American politics, but lying has spread everywhere. Before there was Bernie Madoff and his vast ponzi scheme which involved billions there was Charles Ponzi who swindled around 3 million dollars in 1919. But perhaps the biggest liars were in business, witness the Enron Scandal of 2001.
Ultimately, decent and treating others fairly can be reversed, but it will take a complicated effort as well as to stop the media from propping up people who do not display good character and then rewarding them in the future.
Witness Frank Abangale, the famous impersonator and check kiter, who is now a successful consultant as is Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street and Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who single handedly forced Barrons, the oldest bank in Britain into insolvency.
Yes, all three went to prison, but all three now have lucrative careers in consulting. Ultimately then, as long as boorish and perhaps illegal behavior occurs in politics, sports and business, we’ve got a long way to go before good character development returns.