Let’s be honest. Ethics is not for wimps. It’s not easy being a good person.
It’s not easy to be honest when it might be costly, to play fair when others cheat, or to keep inconvenient promises.
It’s not easy to stand up for our beliefs and still respect differing viewpoints.
It’s not easy to control powerful impulses, to be accountable for our attitudes and actions, to tackle unpleasant tasks, or to sacrifice the now for later.
It’s not easy to bear criticism and learn from it without getting angry, to take advice, and to admit error.
It’s not easy to feel genuine remorse and apologize sincerely or to accept an apology graciously and truly forgive.
It’s not easy to stop feeling like a victim, to resist cynicism, and to make the best of every situation.
It’s not easy to be consistently kind, to think of others first, to judge generously, and to give the benefit of the doubt.
It’s not easy to be grateful or to give without concern for reward or gratitude.
It’s not easy to fail and still keep trying, to learn from failure, to risk failing again, to start over, to lose with grace, or to be glad of another’s success.
It’s not easy to look at ourselves honestly and be accountable, to avoid excuses and rationalizations, or to resist temptations.
No, being a person of character is not easy. That’s why it’s such a lofty goal and an admirable achievement.
By Michael Josephson, Ethicist and Founder of the Josephson Institute. Visit his website at www.charactercounts.org/michael.