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The Trust of Our Children Empty The Trust of Our Children

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Apr 2013, 10:30 pm

The Trust of Our Children

By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (789.5)

There's no doubt about it: Trust is an asset to any
relationship and distrust an enormous liability. But
thinking of trust in terms of its practical value can
demean and distort its true significance as an
endorsement of our character and as a sign of our
worthiness. I get my clearest vote of trust when I stop
to appreciate the ways my young daughters trust their
daddy. Knowing that they have unquestioned confidence
that I will always do the right thing is a source of
pleasure and pride.

It is also a source of duty. The trust of our children
is a gift we must never take for granted. Trust is
fragile. Children trust us completely, until we prove
ourselves unworthy. It's a heavy responsibility to
protect our kids from our own moral frailties, but I
think I'm a better person because I treasure their
trust so much. The glow of their faith in me lights the
way and helps me to see traps and hazards that could
embarrass them or damage their image of me--and frankly
I can't think of any gain worth that price.

In the play, All My Sons, by Arthur Miller, the father
adores his son and the son idolizes his father, until
he decides that the father did some shabby things in
the past. As the son's esteem is slipping away, the
father says in a desperate plea, "Son, I'm no worse
than anyone else."

The son, with teary eyes, replies, "I know, Dad. But I
thought you were better."

There are other reasons to be ethical, but for those of
us with children, there's none stronger than the honor
of earning their admiration.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character
counts.

(c) 2013 Josephson Institute of Ethics; reprinted with
permission. Michael Josephson, one of the nation's
leading ethicists, is the founder of the Josephson
Institute of Ethics and the premier youth character
education program, CHARACTER COUNTS! For further
information visit www.charactercounts.org.
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