When you champion behaviors and values, you tend to consider every now and again, which president was a real character leader. The one, perhaps, most often praised is Abraham Lincoln. Often, because of his trait of being honest.
This President’s Day, what we want to highlight is a different point.
In a day and age where it seems hard to get agreement on anything, it really is important to note that there are things we agree upon. For example, we agree that Presidents matter. Sure, there are those who would say, we don’t need a president. Some argue that we should not even have a federal government. Yet, we can say those sentiments are very rare. For the most part, in America, most people support the idea of having a president. And they support the idea of honoring our past presidents.
This point is worth making because it highlights something important. It highlights the fact that we – the people – can agree on some things. We can get some universal, or near universal agreement.
We advocate that there is a universal way to understand a “whole character.” We assert that there are parts to a “whole character.” And that these parts are valued nearly, if not fully, universally.
The next time you think to yourself that there is nothing universal, no areas of common agreement, challenge your thought. Recognize that there are some general concepts that are agreed upon. Focus on those areas of agreement. And promote those areas of agreement.
Moreover, start to think about what the value would be to society if we were to agree upon some universally, or near universally valued traits. Would it help if throughout society we championed responsiveness? Would it help if throughout society we championed thoughtfulness? Would it help if throughout society we elevated these concepts?
Would it make us more presidential in the way we behave? Presidential is defined as: “having a bearing or demeanor befitting a president; dignified and confident.” Would it also give us a more common way to understand what makes for a good president or a bad president?
This is food for thought. Perhaps, on President’s Day, we ought to promote the content of the character we think should be presidential.
To that end we offer the approach we’ve written about in several books, including Creating Harmony, Sharing Values and A System for Harmony. Those books make the case that there is an objective way to understand how to behave well. Subjectivity has its value at times, but when you’re trying to harmonize differing opinions, when you’re trying to harmonize a country of people with different views, it’s especially important that you advance, and exhibit, objectively valued traits. So, learn about objectively valuable traits and you will become more truly presidential. And you’ll satisfy more people.