W hile editing, I just read this excerpt from Dr. Frank Thomas’ manuscript for American Dream 2.0: A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession, due for publication in August, 2012. He elegantly captures an essential character trait I hope to teach my children.
Personal capital is closely related to personal responsibility, when personal responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances of life. Personal capital is also closely connected with character, when character is defined as a person’s moral or ethical quality, and the character of a person gives them advantages to respond to the challenges of life. Personal capital, then, is the inner resources, assets, and advantages of personal responsibility and character that one brings to the challenges and circumstances of life. When personal capital is low, a person is a victim of circumstances, at the effect of life and not able to consciously and purposefully choose his or her own thoughts, feelings and actions. Victims typically identify themselves based upon attributes of powerlessness, dependency, entitlement, apathy, worry, fear, self-doubt, and the like. The victim lives at the effect of what happens around them and has little personal capital to, in response to the challenges of life, choose and direct life’s direction and destiny.