Character.org stands in solidarity with the parents, schools, and communities struggling to explain to young people the insurrection that took place in our nation’s capital yesterday. We are reminded of the words of John Lewis, who received our Freedom Award several years ago. In his book Across the Bridge, John wrote: “Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.”
At Character.org, we believe in helping young people understand, care about, and consistently practice the character strengths and core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens. We believe that these character strengths express our common humanity and transcend religious, cultural, political, or ethnic differences.
Moral courage is surely a character strength. However, what occurred yesterday in Washington did not take courage. Rather, it was reckless behavior that blemished and disrespected our democratic principles and our shared values of civility and respect.
We strongly encourage all parents and teachers to talk to your children and students about what happened in our nation’s capital and how these actions did not represent civic character. Now is the time to have these crucial conversations.
Now is that time to empower our youth to actively participate in the healing and strengthening of our democracy.
Dr. Arthur Schwartz