I have had a blessed life. I am the beneficiary of my loving wife of 45 years. We now transition to our “next chapter” by having the gratification of watching our three children carefully, raise their families in the faith of our fathers. Not having spoiled our three, we can have the joy of spoiling our twelve grandchildren.
While I am well aware of these blessings, reading Sirach reminds me not to take so many friends for granted. Many of my friends have demonstrated the excellence of their moral character by contributing not only to our country but also by finding the time to support The Character Building Project.
Several of the “characters with character” profiled on Politics with Principle, have actively supported our mission to improve character in our country. Charlie Black when accepting a ”Lobbyists of the Year” award speaks of the virtue of humility. Bill Bulger counsels me what Dr. Johnson (“example is always more efficacious than precept”) might do and think. Paul Eckstein guides my reading lists while he shares with me the curriculum of the character course he teaches at ASU law School. Admiral Lynch is just as patriotic today as he was as the Superintendent of the Naval Academy. Tom is constantly mentoring our wounded warriors by guiding their transition to the civilian work force.
So many others have contributed to the growth of The Character Building Project; I cannot name them all in this post. However, I must acknowledge the good acts of my intellectual mentor, Dr. Paul Stoltz, the father of the Adversity Quotient. Paul prods me to “keep climbing” to better understand various forms of resilience which can occur in wounded warriors after surviving traumatic injuries. Former Member of Congress, Frank Riggs, who voluntarily followed his term limit pledge, has encouraged me to support character education in our charter schools.
Numerous new friends have appeared on my Facebook page and have otherwise expanded the reach of The Character Building Project. Thirty-eight have already written favorable reviews of Courage in America on Amazon.
I have a sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation in finding a treasure in so many good pals. I am grateful having been touched by them so that we all can together follow the better angels of our nature.
Kerrigan Address To The Catholic High School And College Students At The Reston Study Center … May 21ST
This afternoon, you will be briefed about the virtues needed to be an ethical leader, the temptations and struggles of several of the characters in Politics with Principle and several lessons I learned from them.My character-building quest took to most of the 50 states and halls of congress… ten characters with character were identified as ethical leaders. Two of the four Catholic characters will be profiled today and some lessons learned from all ten will be shared with you. Continue reading
What story will be written in your obituary? Will it consist only of the facts, where you lived, worked and died, or will your story be something more meaningful? Will your life story peak at our career success or will it encompass true character growth honed by ethical life choices made under pressure? Continue reading
THANK YOU GARY AND THE KNIGHTS FOR GATHERING SO MANY FRIENDS.
In the next 15 minutes, I will discuss my book and the virtues needed to be an honest politician. Then I will profile two of the four Catholic characters and share some lessons learned. Continue reading
One’s political career need not be modeled after great politicians, even though it is wise to study those of exemplary character. Politics is about principles, not rules. A rule says around here we do it this way. A principle says this approach is mandatory and fundamental to humanity working at its finest. Principles practiced in ancient Greeks will apply today and for many generations after today. Your own campaign, to be successful, must stem from within you, from the principles that have shaped your life. It must be authentic and genuinely you. Continue reading
Of my ten characters, oftentimes there was some inciting incident that launched them on their quest for public office. Some began their pursuit in a purposeful way. For example seven of the ten characters began their careers as lawyers. Others pursuit began in the military or in less structured paths. Most all faced progressive complication along the way. Continue reading
The idealism held by the characters in Politics with Principle when they entered public life was not lost after winning high public office or their acquisition of power in their profession. The measure of their success was not just winning or gaining power. A few were defeated or retired prematurely. Their successes were in the virtuous way they participated in public life. Continue reading
The character of each of the characters in Politics with Principle is made up of various parts. There are the inherited tendencies, which each naturally possess. There are the habits each acquired which form their “second natures.” There is the environment, which each character was raised. Continue reading
The current attitude toward the American political community is less than positive. Over the last 40 years, cynicism toward political life has grown. Today, few believe there are men and women of good character serving our Republic.
I believe we must work hard to cure this cynicism; such a view threatens the very Republic that brought us the liberties we uniquely enjoy in America. To counter this cynicism, it is important to note public servants who stood fast in a time of crisis, to honor those who maintained their responsibility and duty when tempted by the allure of power and notoriety. Continue reading
In your book you question the cast of characters on the impact religion has played in their life. What answer did you expect and what answer did you get by and large?
I expected they would say religion played a dominant role in the formation of their character. The general response from the remaining characters was to follow the Golden Rule. Continue reading