Website owner: James Miller
Theory on Formation of Character: Everyone starts out the same way with the same basic elements. There is his Higher Nature with its knowledge of Right and Wrong. And there is that Lower Nature with its desires and needs. From a very young age everyone starts finding his loyalty to Right and Good being tested. It is tested by temptations, fears, desires, etc.. He is tempted to lie in order to avoid punishment; to do wrong in order to gain acceptance by peers, etc.. From a very young age everyone experiences a never ending series of assaults on his integrity, honesty, etc.. Assaults that challenge his courage and mettle. Some people stand up well to these tests, do what is right, and develop habits of doing what is right. These people develop one type of character, the character that always does what is Right; the character that loves Right, Honesty, Justice, Truth and Goodness. Other people start succumbing to these tests of their Honesty, Integrity and Goodness at an early age. They develop habits of succumbing. They lose their sense of Right and Wrong and become profligate and immoral. And that type of character is formed. The formation of character all comes down, in the final analysis, to that old conflict, that conflict between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil; God and his followers against Satan and his. In addition to the above another mechanism is also at work. Those people who start succumbing on the tests to their honesty, integrity, etc. immediately start rationalizing their actions. As they build up habits of succumbing, as they build up the habit of taking the road opposite to that indicated by the "Voice of Conscience" and "Knowledge of Right", they start justifying it to themselves. They start building a framework of rationale, a philosophical framework, that supports their actions. And in this way their conscience becomes perverted and corrupted. In other words, their minds immediately jump to their rescue and help to further entrench them in the road they have chosen. Thus they deceive and delude themselves. And in somewhat the same way those who have the courage to live true to their consciences and take the right road also rationalize their actions, build up a philosophical framework and value system for themselves, and their minds tend to entrench them in that road (i.e. as you do what is right, you build up habits of doing right, you build up a philosophical framework and value system for doing right, and doing right becomes easier and easier). The above are some of the mechanisms involved in the process of character formation. There are others. For example, every child grows up immersed in a certain climate, a certain atmosphere, that is studded with values, attitudes and outlooks. By something like osmosis he tends to absorb these. At least they present things to be reckoned with, whether he accepts or rejects them. This is especially true of the attitudes and values he encounters in the home. The example of honest, upright, good parents can exert great impact on a child. They fix in his mind a strong image, knowledge, and understanding of Right and Wrong. They provide for him a strong mental image, a model, an ideal of Right and Good. Apr 1981 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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