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Summary: THE NEED TO LEAVE AN ENDURING LEGACY FOR POSTERITY

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The term values is used in many schools, but it can be a bit abstract. Virtues are values expressed in character, and character affects how we treat those around us. Character is a must for the sake of others as for our own sake. The perfect expression of this was Jesus Christ whom Christians are called upon to imitate. He is the measure of what humanity could be. (1John2:6). It is all about the people we become and the posterity we want to leave behind.

Virtues and character involve acting out habits of heart, mind and life. Virtues is not just natural goodness, it is the result of a thousand small choices that require effort to begin with until they are second nature.

According to John Luther - good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character by contrast is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece--by thought, choice, courage and determination.

Tim Kimmel also said-- you can't leave good character in a trust account. You can't write your values into the will. You can't bank traits like courage, honesty and compassion in a safe deposit box. What we need is a plan - a long term strategy to convey our convictions to the next generation.

Bishop Desmond Tutu once said - This is a moral universe, and you have got to take account of the fact that truth and lies and goodness and evil are things that matter.

These quotes are quite intriguing. They all clearly state that money does not buy character. On the contrary, they shout that character is developed by strategic investment of time over a long period. No short cuts, no amount of money can reverse this principle. Character development simply takes time. However, many parents have lived their lives in a hurry, emassing great financial wealth, only to realise too late that those they will leave th money to, (their children and siblings) has no character.

We must work to create effective, positive and productive heirs to quarantee the fate of the legacies or will we will be leavivg behind. For this reason, we need critical character or social building blocks. These includes, but not limited to the following:

1. A work ethic 2. Responsibility 3. Manners 4. Sacrifice 5. Stewardship 6. Teachability 7. Accountability 8. Loyalty 9. Integrity 10. Learning trade - offs 11. Honesty 12. Discipline 13. Ability to interact with people 14 endurance 15. Courage 16. Morality 17. Self esteem.

Although, one can have good social capital, it is important to note that without good spiritual capital, there is still a big problem. This is because the long term motivation for social capital flows from spiritual capital. If we do not build character qualities into our children and wards, a duty that takes time and may or may not take money, then we will continue to see a decline in our societies.

In a 1992 article published in the World Magazine, Chuck Colson stated it this way - The value erosion is largely responsible for the economic problems now facing the nations. He illustrated this by noting that an epidemic of crime is costing billions, family breakdowns are costing billions more and abandonment of work ethics has meant loss of billions in productivity. Values are fundamental to any society. I hope it will not deteriorate to the point that we do not focus on values at all.


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