#AnimatED: A vote for character
Amid all this divisiveness—the season of hate talk, deception, bombast and intrigues—and as time rolls fast to election day, we call for a moment of reflection and make a pitch for that one, old-fashioned qualification our leaders should have: character.
Character should be a defining factor in making our choices on May 9. Sure, we look at programs and track record, but we cannot not stress character as a must-have item in our checklist.
We offer 4 lodestars to guide voters:
- A solid sense of right and wrong. This is key in evaluating our potential leaders. Do they have a strong foundation that, instinctively, pulls them towards what’s right and repels them from what’s wrong? Killing and stealing are wrong. So are lying and cheating. Doing the right thing, while easy to say, turns out to be a tough call, what with all the temptations and seductions of power.
- Civic spirit. This entails having a larger purpose, a seriousness that aims to bring diverse people together to forge consensus and unity, and to work to reform Philippine society’s inequality. One way to achieve this is to have a great sense of the public, what’s good for most of them, at the expense of tempering personal passions.
- Integrity. It’s about an inner moral compass that shows leaders the way through a minefield of competing interests, to navigate tricky terrains without succumbing to pressures from the few who bankrolled their election campaigns. This can be checked by going over the candidates’ positions on issues that threatened huge, vested interests—and what they actually did. It’s about having “iron in their core and cultivating a wise heart,” as pundit David Brooks wrote in his book, “The Road to Character.”
- Courage, humility, kindness. These are core virtues in building one’s character. Do our presidential candidates have these? The courage to withstand unpopularity when making decisions that would benefit most. The courage to say no to friends and family. The humility to learn from mistakes, to apologize when wrong, to listen to points of view that challenge their ideas. The kindness to empathize with those who have the least in life.
Of course, we do not seek perfection. Each candidate has his or her flaws.
But these 4 guideposts will help us weigh each of them and find out who’s the most wanting and the least flawed. – Rappler.com