Character Counts

A head’s up for all you folks who have been looking for something to celebrate. Something that will bring us all together, and give us a warm tickly feeling in our hearts that can only be associated with…irony. The President of the United States of America has proclaimed the week of October 21-27 to be National Character Counts Week.

We, the American People, are to commemorate this occasion with “appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs”. I don’t know about you, but I love an occasion to celebrate. I am always looking for more, in fact, and I am just so excited to have this opportunity. The question, of course, is in what way we should celebrate this momentous occasion? Looking though the wording of the document to get some ideas, I came across the following passages:

The character of America’s founders was exemplified in their willingness to risk death in resisting tyranny and securing liberty and independence.Our Nation’s character continues to define how we respond to those who threaten America’s core principles of liberty, justice, and equality.

Similarly, parents should teach their children by word and deed to understand and live out the moral values that we hold, such as honesty, accepting responsibility for our actions, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

So, I’m kind of torn. There’s a lot of stuff in there about fighting and killing and how that’s a good example of moral character, but that doesn’t really work for me. I like the part about resisting tyranny, though. That whole bit about liberty and justice and honesty gets me where it counts. It sort of sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? Almost as if the President just said “Look to your Forefathers, America. Look to the Constitution, and the principles enshrined therein. Take a good look around and figure out what kind of example we should be setting.” Almost as if President Bush looked me dead in the eye and said “Bring it on”.

In honor of National Character Counts Week, therefore, I propose a slew of character building activities and celebrations to be held across the nation. Let’s have Constitution Parties, where we read out that document, eat a bunch of cake, and write letters to this administration outlining where they went wrong. Hell, let’s just send a bunch of copies of the Constitution to all our representatives, highlighting the parts we like the best, maybe adding our own personal notes. Let’s have some flash mobs, where we show up dressed like the Founding Fathers, or maybe like Indians in commemoration of the Boston Tea Party. Let’s demonstrate how we love our neighbors like ourselves by sending Playstations to Iraq, Wonderbread to Afghanistan, and t.v. sets to Darfur. Maybe we could host a bake sale right at the Mexican border…sell those guys some brownies and lemonade.

I intend to spend the week making sure my kid knows the Bill of Rights backward and forward, asking everyone I know if they are signed up to vote, and badgering them about why it is so important. I think I will write a letter to the President, asking him to be honest and accept responsibility for his actions. I want to talk to him about faith based initiatives. I want to talk to him about what he inherited from his forefathers. I want to talk to him about character.