12 thoughts on “Character v. Achievement

  1. Well done Ray! I only got to look at this last video, but I was impressed. It felt like de ja vue (sp?) because I know I’ve heard this very same commentary in the past. Perhaps some day I will be a parent and will have the opportunity to put this knowledge to good use!

    • Thanks, Dawn. I really appreciate your comments. I’m sure you will be a great parent when that time comes. My daughter is planning to post to the blog today to comment on what impact our character training had on her life growing up. It’s just now making sense to her. Like the Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is OLD he will not depart from it….”

  2. Ok, So after I watched this video, I had a revelation. You see, the example of the three children (1 an A student, 1 a B student, and the other a C student) is pretty much a reflection of us three Nash children throughout our education growing up. When we were homeschooled, my parents never really focused on grades; in fact, I didn’t even know what a “GPA” was until my sophomore year of high school! I remember every week when I was homeschooled my dad would take some time off from work and focus on teaching us kids about character. Every week there was a new character quality to learn about, and we would talk about how to apply it in everyday life (in fact, there is a good story/example we learned that goes with the quality of obedience. If you want to know just ask later…it has to do with taking out the trash….). So anyhow, when I finally made it to real school in the 7th grade where they rate everyone based on grades and performance, this concept was somewhat foreign to me. I had no idea what grades meant really, except that an A was considered better than a B and so forth. So I managed somehow to become the A student in the family, which really didn’t make a difference to me at home since my parents “rewarded” us all on the same level. However, I did get a lot of attention at school where straight A’s were kind of the “right” thing I guess. So then one report card day in the tenth grade or so, one of my classmates was very excited because they had made an A in something and they proceeded to tell me that their parents were going to pay them a certain amount of money for every A they made. And I was like “Whoa hold on…your parents pay you for every A? I make all A’s, this could be very good for me too, I am going to ask my parents to pay me for my good achievement.” So I went home, showed my dad my report card and said, “Hey dad, that’s a pretty good report card, I have all A’s. you see nothing even falls below a 96, so I was wondering…I never really have ever gotten, you know, rewarded for my academic success, and a few kids in my class get paid for every A, and I was just wondering if, uh, maybe, I could get rewarded for all of the A’s I have on this report card in light of all the money this could save you later and so forth…” And my dad looked at me and said, “Here is something for your good grades” and he reached out and shook my hand and said “Thank you for demonstrating so much initiative, responsibility, diligence, and determination to make these grades, keep up the good character.” So, of course I was a little disappointed since I realized I would not be receiving the payday I had been hoping for, but my dad knew best. And for every straight-A report card after that, and for every report card my brother and sister brought home, he did something similar each time. Instead of acknowledging our achievements, he acknowledged the character that had to be practiced for each to happen, which encouraged us to go on and practice even more good character for the next time. I may not have understood it then, but I do now, and I thank my parents for having the wisdom to show us that character is more important than achievement, and, in the end, true integrity and good character prevail. So this stuff not only works in the law enforcement realm, but it helped our parents raise us right…and I hope do the same for my kids one day! Love ya dad!

  3. Dear Kelsey,
    My husband and I know your father and we praise him for his good character and the integrity he has always shown under the greatest pressure. Your father not only raised you properly he also taught “many” others about Character. We need more men in this world like your Dad; unfortunally he cant touch everyones life like he has touched ours. We have so much respect for your father and your mother. You are very blessed to have “parents” like you do, never ever doubt what he has taught you. He is absolutely right. When your Dads name is spoken we always think of “Good Character”. Your father has left a lasting impression on us forever. Debbie

  4. Ray,

    This blog is beyond anything I have ever experienced in my life. Your inight and messages are powerful and should be valuable to anyones life. You my friend are giving me an awesome education. I will continue to watch and learn.

    Thanks my friend!


  5. Hi Ray,

    Cool video! Thank you for great information. In support of Character v. Achievement let me show a fragment from one of the blog discussions by my favourite writer Paolo Coelho and sometimes those A students turn out to be completely different as they seem ;))

    A reader sends me a questionnaire in which he presents the profile of three world leaders who lived in the same period of history, and asks if it is possible to choose the best one using the following data:

    Candidate A was associated with witchdoctors and often consulted astrologists. He had two mistresses. His wife was a Lesbian. He smoked a lot. He drank eight to ten martinis a day.

    Candidate B never managed to hold down a job because of his arrogance. He slept the whole morning. He used opium at school, and was always considered a bad student. He drank a glass of brandy every morning.

    Candidate C was decorated a hero. A vegetarian, he did not smoke. His discipline was exemplary. He occasionally drank a beer. He stayed with the same woman during his moments of glory and defeat.

    And what was the answer?

    A] Franklin Delano Roosevelt. B] Winston Churchill. C] Adolf Hitler.

    I guess its pretty self explanatory and relates to your subject. supporting achievement and ignoring the character may cause a lot of issues;)))
    Thanks again!

    • Hey, Yuliana. Thanks for commenting on my site.

      It goes to show you that character is in the heart. And achievement can result from good or bad character. But I do believe that lasting achievement, the kind that really matters, will always result from good character in the end. One of the character qualities we advocate is the quality of Faith (or Faithfulness if you want to avoid any religious implications). It is defined by the Character Training Institute as “confidence that actions rooted in good character will have the best outcomes even if I can’t see how…”

      This is a good definition. The farmer can’t see a see the seed germinating in the ground, but he has faith that it will produce a crop…

      Keep up the good character!


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