All day I have been considering and investigating the notion of character for my senior class tomorrow. These literary and academic words often grow stale or empty from overuse. It seems the same word they've heard since third grade.
And yet: the notion of character is deep, fascinating, and important.
Its etymology traces it back to the Greek, one meaning being "the sharp end of a stick" (as in the end of stylus with which one might write or carve a written character). But the word raises other, more profound questions: is our character, "the content of our character" to quote Dr. King, fixed, written in our DNA--or is it something we write ourselves, taking the pen of destiny in our hand and writing the story we will live with our lives?
So it is with all our students and ourselves: The story seems to be changing, the story about our country, our world, our future. And everyone must decide what role they want to play, must decide whether they are round or flat, static or dynamic characters.
Seems to me that the future unfolding before us today calls for strong, dynamic characters ready to write the story we all want to live but with the knowledge that who we are, what we are now can be revised.