Recently a friend wrote on her facebook page that we need people of good character in our government. It occurred to me that I hadn’t heard that phrase for a while. It doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was.
I was very close to my grandparents. They lived in the next town and I spent a lot of time with them. I may have felt especially close to my grandmother because my father spent the last three months of his life in the hospital and my grandmother took care of us while my mother was there each day. I was four months old when he died.
I was raised that the most important thing about you is your character. It meant that you had integrity, were always honest and responsible, and you showed respect to everyone, even those you didn’t like. You didn’t say mean things about people behind their backs or gossip about them. Of course there were slip ups. There still are! I would be painting too unrealistic a picture if I said there weren’t. But they were occasional slip ups, not the way one deliberately chose to live one’s life. (See, I still have to be honest.) 🙂 I never thought much of it. It just was. The friends I chose and still choose were also raised that way.
I only saw my grandmother mad once. She was telling me about the time a man came to the house during the war and said he was re-possessing their car. She angrily told him that her husband was away from his family in Europe serving his country and that he always paid his bills on time. I realized that all those decades later she was still angry that someone had assailed his character. She finished the story by saying that they didn’t even have a car then. I laughed but she didn’t. How I wished I could have been there and matter-of-factly told him that he could take it.
My grandfather wrote the chorus of a country song from his grave. Which is curious also because I am quite sure he never listened to a word of country music. I listen to it all the time but prefer the classics since so much now is just pop. A few years ago I heard a song called “Something to be Proud Of” by Montgomery Gentry. I listen to it on youtube occasionally and always get teary. Every single thing that is said in the chorus were things my grandfather said or demonstrated in my presence. He used to have me count the flags that were out around holidays when we took my grandmother on errands. When each of our children was born he told my husband that when his children were born his father told him that on that day he was the richest man in New London and that on this day my husband was the richest man in Glastonbury.
We were supposed to live “a life you can hang your hat on” as is sung in the song. Not my family’s words exactly but the meaning was the same.
Shouldn’t we have leaders that have similar good character?? Maybe I should send them the youtube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXg8E0kzF1c