Character Counts

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

The Pillar of Caring

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color red to symbolize the pillar of Caring.

There are two main ideas that apply to the pillar of caring.

Concern for others: Show compassion and empathy. Be kind, loving and considerate in your actions. Be grateful for the things people do for you. Forgive the shortcomings of others. Don’t be mean or cruel to others. Be sensitive the feelings of others.

Compassion: Children can learn that people should be considerate and caring. Instead of ignoring hurt, confusion, anger and sadness they can learn that people should reach out to one another. As Plato quoted “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle!” we can never tell what difficulties another person is facing, and your kind word or action might make all the difference.

Most trouble between people begins when someone puts down another and hurt feelings lead to bad behavior. Caring people act different; they let the little acts of kindness lift people up instead of putting them down. To resolve conflicts children need to learn that people should seek reconciliation and try to understand each other’s perspective, there are always 2 sides to the story. It is also important to learn the ability to forgive when trying to resolve conflicts. Forgiveness is an act of caring in and of itself.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to sense and understand the feelings of another person. It is not the same thing as feeling sorry for someone, because sometimes when we do that we are looking down on that person. It is important to work on our empathy skills. Nothing makes another person feel better than to know someone understands them.

Charity: Be giving. Give your time, money, support and comfort to make someone’s life better. Do this without thinking of what you will get in return. Help people in need.

Giving: Children can learn that one of life’s greatest satisfactions comes from giving to others and that each person’s talents and skills should be shared through service to others. Rather than waiting to be asked, children can look for opportunities to respond positively to the needs of other’s without the expectation of reward.

Be thankful: It is easy to complain or long for things that we don’t have. Instead, try to be grateful for the many gifts and blessings that we do have. Be willing to share them with others. True happiness can only be found when we are truly content with what we do have. When we are thankful we feel a sense of peace with ourselves and others will want to be around us more.


“Values are like finger prints, nobody’s are exactly the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” - Elvis Presley

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop

“Everyone can be great because we can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You only need to have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else." - Carson McCullers

"Never be so busy as to not think of others." - Mother Theresa

  1. Show your love, smile often and give plenty of hugs. This helps them learn how to show warmth to others.
  2. Praise them for showing caring. Be specific with examples.
  3. Listen carefully. Pay attention to what they are saying, don’t rush or interrupt them. This helps them become good listeners.
  4. Give responsibilities. Having responsibility can help them feel valuable and learn to be part of a team.
  5. Be careful with criticism. Make clear expectations for behavior, but don’t overreact if they are unkind. Gently explain what was wrong and how they could behave differently.
  6. The way we treat our children influences the way they treat others!

  1. Identify feelings and encourage them to talk about their feelings and to think about how others might feel in different situations.
  2. Ask them to think about things that make other people feel good and what might make them feel bad.
  3. Try to help them understand how it would feel to be in another person’s shoes.

  1. Talk about people that are less fortunate. Discuss the difference between wants and needs.
  2. Give thanks. Help them understand and appreciate all the gifts and blessings that they have.
  3. Show happiness for another’s good fortune. Help them encourage and be happy for others without being jealous that they might not have had the same experience.
  4. Comfort others in times of need. Help them show support to others in bad times. Help them think of examples of how they could cheer someone up.
  5. Help them get along with others. Help build their social skills by taking turns, cooperating with others and not always thinking “me first”.

  1. Never underestimate the power of a smile. Even if you don’t know someone, it doesn’t hurt to smile, and it can brighten someone’s day. Smiles can be very contagious too!
  2. Encourage and model the art of sending thank you cards when someone has given something or done something nice for you. Thank you notes are always appreciated.
  3. Continually review appropriate manners for different situations with your children. When they forget or don’t use the appropriate manners discuss and model for them. The more we teach and show them now the more likely they will become a permanent habit or way of life for them later. Encourage them to be polite even when the other person is not. This can be very hard to do, but a caring person does not want to lower themselves to the level of the rude person. Sometimes our polite behavior can help raise the behavior of the rude person.
  4. Help them to be aware of good deeds that can be done without having to be asked. If you notice something needs to be done, take the initiative and do it. These acts of kindness will be greatly appreciated.
  5. As a family, make a list of all the things and gifts that you have to be thankful for. When you wish for something that you don’t have or would like, follow it up with thanks for what you do have.

"Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy

The Pillar of Citizenship

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color purple to symbolize the pillar of Citizenship.

Some of the events in the world over the last couple of years have brought to the forefront the notion of citizenship and patriotism in the hearts of many Americans. We as educators hope to take advantage of this opportunity and make these principles both active and alive in our children and ourselves. Within ourselves we must search to find the spirit and determination to be the best we can, knowing that in doing so, we benefit the whole of our communities and country. We hope this information is helpful to you so that you may understand what your child is learning at school and to reinforce and continue the learning process at home.

  1. Good citizens do their share to help their families and communities to be better.
  2. They are good neighbors.
  3. They obey rules, laws, cooperate with others.
  4. They respect parents, teachers, and others in authority.
  5. They protect the environment.
  6. Stay informed about important issues and vote.
  7. They are responsible for themselves.
  8. They demonstrate good sportsmanship.
  9. They have a positive attitude.


Do your share: Be a good neighbor and a good citizen. Contribute to the common good. Volunteer to make things cleaner, safer, and better for all. Protect the environment by conserving resources, reducing pollution and cleaning up after yourself. Speak up to make things better; don’t just complain. Vote. Report wrong doings.

Respect authority and the law: Play by the rules even when it is disadvantageous to do so. Be cooperative. Follow the laws. Obey parents and teachers. Take time to learn about how the government works. Respect all people, animals, plants, and property.


“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“The most important political office is that of private citizen.” - Louis Brandeis

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling." - Abraham Lincoln

  1. Being a citizen comes with rights, duties and privileges. With every right we are given comes the responsibility to exercise it in a fair manner and to work toward helping fellow citizens do the same.
  2. Real citizenship is active! Citizenship demands participation, involvement, and contribution. No one makes a difference without being involved.
  3. People have no choice about the family or country they are born into, but people do have a choice about whether to be responsible members of their families and communities.

  1. Minimize waste. Recycle and conserve.
  2. Reinforce the importance of school rules and that they must be followed.
  3. Reinforce the importance of sportsmanship.
  4. Reuse boxes and shopping bags.
  5. Notice nature around you. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Look for animals. Appreciate the flowers and trees around you.
  6. Plant a garden with your children. Allow them to help with the yard work and gardening. Grow your own herbs or vegetables.
  7. Plant a seed or tree and watch it grow.
  8. Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
  9. Participate in a town cleanup day or plan your own for your family for an hour. If not your town, use your neighborhood park.
  10. Carpool or walk instead of using a car.
  11. Encourage your children to watch shows on nature, science, or animals to broaden their knowledge and appreciation.
  12. As a family, research and select a charity to donate to. Encourage your children to donate a portion of their allowance. Plan to participate as a family to help at the local shelter, senior center, food kitchen, or for an elderly neighbor.
  13. Have discussions about current events so that your children can become aware of what the important issues are and how politicians or community officials are handling them. Have your children see you reading the newspaper, watching the news and getting involved in community services.
  14. Observe and follow traffic rules.
  15. Show and explain to your children how the election process works and how to utilize resources to stay informed of the issues before you vote.
  16. Model citizenship behaviors and notice when your children are being good citizens in order to reinforce those desired behaviors.

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself."
Eleanor Roosevelt

The Pillar of Fairness

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color orange to symbolize the pillar of Fairness.

"But that's not fair!" This could be one of the most commonly heard complaints of children. I suppose it is still pretty common for adults too. One who is fair could also be described as wise and graceful, always trying to do what is right. I hope this information will be helpful for you to teach, enforce, and model the concept of fairness to your child. Keep in mind that the concept of fairness can be difficult for children to understand. Sometimes it is easier to point out something that is unfair, rather than something that is fair. It is normal for children to compare themselves to siblings or friends or feel jealous. This does not mean that as the parent you have to fix everything or try to control things so that your child does not have these feelings.

The process of assisting your child’s development of good character goes far beyond just the teachings of one month. Reinforce the principles they are learning even as the month ends. In the long run, your efforts will be rewarded with the satisfaction of seeing your child with a strong character and the ability to do what they know is right.


Fairness and Justice: This means to be fair and just in dealing with everyone; treat everyone equally. Make decisions without playing favorites and don't take advantage of others. Don't blame others carelessly or unjustly. Take only your fair share, take turns, and share with others.

Sportsmanship: Play by the rules, be honest in your judgments of scoring and penalties, and take turns. Make sure that teams are set up equally. Let competition guide you to do your best, not get the best of the opponents. Win and lose graciously.

Openness: Keep an open mind and hear people out. Listen to what others have to say and get the facts before you decide your feelings or opinions on the matter. In a disagreement, try to see the other person's side.

  1. Find ways to share, take turns, and feel less jealous.
  2. Ask people what you can do to help make things fairer.
  3. Include others in games and activities; don't leave people out.
  4. Respect people who are different from you.


You will be able to tell that your child is developing a sense of fairness if they…

  1. Take turns regularly when playing with other children
  2. Share toys consistently when playing with other children
  3. Follow the rules when they are playing games
  4. Listen attentively to another person's point of view
  5. Accept consequences of misbehavior

When you see these behaviors, make sure to praise and encourage them. It will continue if they know it is being noticed and they will feel even better about themselves for doing the right thing.


It is more important to try to understand why your children think the way they do and what their issues are than to try to rectify the situation.

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Fair and softly goes far." - Miguel de Cervantes

  1. Make expectations clear and predictable as possible.
  2. When children complain that something is not fair don’t respond with “Life is not fair.”, rather listen to their feelings and validate them.
  3. Let children tell you why they think things are unfair and how they would make things fairer. Choose to act on their suggestions if you like.
  4. Give adequate explanation if you must change a previous decision.
  5. Involve children in decisions and rules that will involve them. Explain your rational for the rules and decisions that you make, but don’t feel like you have to justify them.
  6. Explain and model that we treat everyone with respect.
  7. Set goals for each family member on how they will show fairness.
  8. Listen carefully to your child’s explanation of a situation before jumping to conclusions.
  9. Make every effort to treat all of your children equitably.
  10. Model openness and appreciation of the differences between groups of people.
  11. Participate in community events that reflect or address cultural diversity.


There are lots of positives and negatives about sports. On the positive side they provide exercise and a release of energy for growing bodies. Organized sports teach discipline, time management, teamwork, determination, achievement, cooperation, fairness, loyalty and how to win and lose gracefully. Children who are busy in positive and supervised activities are less likely to get involved in negative or harmful activities. On the negative side sports can have serious time constraints and pressure, pushy parents, verbally abusive coaches, teams or team mates that do not play fairly, and discouragement with defeat. Children need to learn at a young age that the positives outweigh the negatives and how to keep sports and competition in perspective. Sports should also be fun! Here are some ideas to help you to guide your child in this direction.

  1. Before you sign your child up, check out the level of competition, the rules of the league, the safety standards and the coach’s style of working with the team. Make sure that these aspects match your child’s interest and ability. Once they are signed up, if you have a problem with the coach, pick a private time to address it with him/her calmly.
  2. Be your child’s biggest fan. Focus on what they are doing right and give constructive criticism, but leave the instruction of technique to the coach. Be patient and reassuring of their skills and performance. Go to as many games as you can and celebrate the good performance whether they won or lost.
  3. Help them understand what it means to be a winner and that it doesn’t just happen when you win the game. Success can come from internal standards of how hard they try and how much they have improved. Competition should be about motivating us to bring out the best in our own performance, not about putting down or getting the best of the opponent.
  4. Try not to push or pressure too much. This will lead to a child getting down on themselves, becoming perfectionists, unmotivated or burned out.

"I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the President of the University."
Albert Einstein

The Pillar of Respect

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color yellow to symbolize the pillar of Respect.

There are four key ideas that apply to respect.

The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be polite and courteous. Respect the rights and freedoms of others. Respect the property of others - take care of things that you borrow and don’t take things without asking permission first.

Non-violence: Solve disagreements peacefully, without violence. Deal with anger peacefully. Don’t use physical force to show anger or to get what you want.

Tolerance and acceptance: Respect others who are different from you. Listen to the point of view of others and try to understand their perspective. Don’t judge people by their outside appearances.

Courtesy: Use good manners. Be polite and courteous to everyone. Do not hurt others by embarrassing them, putting them down, or insulting them. Do not use bad language or inappropriate language.


"I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the President of the University." - Albert Einstein

"Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, then you have to give it." - R.G. Risch

"A person's a person no matter how small." - Dr. Seuss

"Leave everything a bit better then you found it." - unknown

  1. Listen. Make eye contact when your child is talking to you.
  2. Knock before entering your child’s room, especially if the door is closed.
  3. Use good language, words and a tone of voice that would be acceptable to you if your child was talking to you.
  4. Value your child’s need for fun and time with their friends.
  5. Give your child space to have their opinions and preferences.
  6. Value your child’s need for some privacy.
  7. Ask before using or borrowing something of theirs.
  8. If your child is struggling and is not at risk of hurting themselves, ask if they want help before rushing in to do it or fix it for them.
  9. Call your child what they wish to be called. Resist using names or nicknames that they feel are embarrassing or that they have outgrown.
  10. Let your child answer questions for themselves


Diversity is about differences; what makes each one of us “one of a kind.” The United States is home to people originating from all over the world. Your child will go to school and work with people of different races, physical capabilities, skills, talents, learning styles and needs. Together we will do all of “our children” a great service if we promote tolerance and celebrate diversity.

Everyone has different likes and dislikes, thoughts and beliefs, personal qualities, responses and feelings, and family backgrounds. Everyone is alike in that we all want to feel liked/loved, that we belong and that we can enjoy life and be ourselves. A person of character who respects others is tolerant and accepting of differences.

Every day we make decisions about people. Sometimes these are based on experiences that allow us to gather enough information to make a sound decision. Other times we are “pre-judging” others without enough information or experience. We are not born prejudiced; we learn to be this way. Stereotypes are never true, but they can fool us into thinking we know someone, when we really don’t. A respectful person does not go by stereotypes or “pre-judging” people. A person of character takes time to see what is inside not just outside.

Discrimination can hurt everyone involved. It is disrespectful to treat others unfairly because of their differences. Even when people pretend that it does not bother them to be discriminated against, inside they usually feel angry, sad, or lonely. As a result, both parties are losing out of a rewarding experience or friendship when we exclude, tease, or fight with people because they are different. A person of character will respect differences and be able to experience a multitude of interactions with people. People of character grow and learn from their broad experiences with others. The key to getting along with others and succeeding is to learn about differences while also accepting and enjoying them, not pretending that they don’t exist.

  1. During mealtime, have each family member name a good quality about each other. By focussing on what each person does well, we are appreciating each person’s uniqueness. Praise and encourage respectful behavior.
  2. Discuss and set clear expectations and goals for how to show respect to each other. Complete the sentence: I will show respect for _______ by ______. Let it be known ahead of time what the consequences will be for being disrespectful.
  3. Model respect for your family and people that you encounter in the community.
  4. Point out and discuss people or characters that show and exemplify respectful behaviors or traits.
  5. Model and teach your children good manners and insist that they use them.
  6. Demonstrate and encourage healthy ways to resolve conflicts both inside and outside of your home.
  7. Allow your children to solve their own day to day problems. Help when you are asked.
  8. Visit the library together and find books about different cultures, races, abilities, etc. and read them together.
  9. Seek out opportunities for your child to meet and make friends with a wide variety of children. Make sure your circle of friends is diverse.
  10. Talk with your child about the way people are different and the same. Emphasize our common humanity while also appreciating our uniqueness.

"When you have a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice."
William James

The Pillar of Responsibility

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color green to symbolize the pillar of Responsibility. We hope this information is helpful to you so that you may understand what your child is learning at school and to reinforce and continue the learning process at home.

These are the main ideas that apply to the pillar of Responsibility:

Accountability: This means that you accept responsibility for the consequences of your choices. It is taking responsibility for the things you choose to do and the things you choose not to do.

Self-control: Set realistic goals. Have a positive attitude. Act out of reason, not anger or revenge. Be self-reliant.

Duty: Doing your duty means doing what you should do. Duties can come from rules, laws, agreements, or ethical obligations.

Excellence: Pursuing excellence means doing your best. It means persevering and not giving up. Be prepared, organized and work hard.


“When you have a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” - William James

“What lies in our power to do also lies in our power not to do.” - Unknown

“The person who makes success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” - Cecil B. De Mille

"Never point a finger where you never lent a hand." - Robert Brault

"If you mess up, fess up." - Unknown

Responsible people will understand two important concepts. First, life is full of choices. Second, we are in charge of our choices. With an understanding of these concepts, a responsible person knows and does their duty, is accountable, pursues excellence, and exercises self-control. Responsible people will also know and live by the understanding that sometimes there are things that are legal and accepted in society, but that they may not be right. It is always important to consider the difference between what we have the right to do and what we know is the right thing to do.

  1. Return things on time and in the condition you borrowed them.
  2. Talk about your responsibilities and those of others around you. Discuss what would happen in different situations if you or others were not responsible.
  3. Set firm, but fair rules. Let the children participate in deciding on the rules and consequences. Be consistent, praise good behavior, and try not to overreact when rules are broken.
  4. Don’t blame or make excuses; take responsibility for what you do and what you say.
  5. If you make a mistake, apologize and make it right.
  6. Change behaviors that are ineffective or destructive.
  7. Follow through on commitments and keep your promises. Do what you say you will do and be where you say you will be.

  1. Responsible children will be more cooperative, find satisfaction in finishing a job, and find joy in learning. They will feel more self confident, capable, valued and in control of their life.
  2. Responsible children will be less vulnerable to peer pressure. They will still care what others think and will consider other people’s feelings, but they will make decisions based on what they believe is the right thing to do, even at the risk of ridicule or rejectio.n
  3. Responsible children consider their options, rather than just doing what they are told.
  4. Responsible children are less likely to blame their choices on someone else. They will make the connection between their behavior and the consequences of their behavior.

  1. Communicate unconditional love and approval regardless of whether or not your child makes responsible choices.
  2. Be more concerned with the process of making good choices; how they come to their decisions rather than the outcome of their decisions. Praise and encourage the good things, the effort and the decision making process that they went through.
  3. Offer choices with limits that you find acceptable. This helps to elicit responsibility without threats or demands.
  4. Trust your child’s ability to make good decisions. Offer choices they can handle to help build their experience in making decisions and choices.
  5. Allow your child to experience the consequences of their poor choices in order to help them learn. Children learn from mistakes and will gain confidence in the act of being responsible for their choices.
  6. Encourage responsible television watching. Watch programs with your children and encourage discussions on how characters handle situations and if they would choose to do things differently if they were in that situation.
  7. Limit video game playing to a certain amount of time or link it as a reward for responsible behavior. Children can learn that following structure and routine is a part of being responsible.


Even very young children can handle some responsibility in the form of chores around the house. As children grow, mature and become more responsible you can increase the chores or the level of difficulty. Let them choose some of the chores so they feel they are part of the decision making process. This will also help to eliminate arguments over getting them dome. This will help them feel that they are a part of the family and have a secure sense of belonging. It takes the work and help of every member of the family to make a family run efficiently and smoothly. Make a chart for the family to see who is responsible for what jobs. Allow the children to decorate it. Use rewards for a job well done and to keep the children motivated. When everyone in the family does all of the chores, you will find that there is more time for family time to do fun things together.

One of the most important jobs of a parent is to help their children develop a strong character based on good values. Remember that the development of good character is a process. Each day and each situation adds to the foundation that you are helping to build. There will be set backs and there will be progress. Keep your confidence and determination and you will see the rewards.

"A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth."

The Pillar of Trustworthiness

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color blue to symbolize the pillar of Trustworthiness.

Together we can help "our" children to develop the tools and strategies they need to make the right choices. They will be learning that it is not always easy to make the "right" choice, but that the moral compass they are developing in their hearts will guide them to do what is right, even if it is the harder of the choices. The rational that "everyone is doing it" is too widely used today. Children need to learn that what is right is right even if no one else is doing it and what is wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.

Students will be learning that trustworthiness is essential to building positive relationships with others. A trustworthy person is honest, reliable, loyal and has integrity. The color blue is used to symbolize the pillar of trustworthiness, helping to remind students to be a "true blue friend" in all situations. These key ideas are outlined more thoroughly below.


Integrity: Living with integrity means having the courage to do what is right, to speak out about what you think is wrong, and to try new things even when they are difficult or you might fail. Integrity often takes the willingness to do what is right, even if it is costly or risky.

Honesty: Honesty is being truthful and sincere in your actions and words, and accomplishing goals fairly, without cheating or stealing.

Reliability: Reliability means keeping your promises, honoring your word and commitments, doing what you say you will do, returning what you borrow, being on time and being dependable.

Loyalty: Loyalty means protecting and supporting your family, friends, school and country.


"A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth." - Aesop

“One falsehood spoils a thousand truths." - Proverb

"Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people." - Welsh Proverb

  1. You will know that your child is using their character compass and integrating the concepts of trustworthiness into their behavior if they…
  2. tell the truth, knowing that a consequence might result
  3. are willing to try again even if they did not do as well as they would like the first time
  4. return things that they borrow and in the proper condition as they received them
  5. keep their promises and don’t tell secrets
  6. are following through on their chores and responsibilities
  7. are loyal to their friends, family, teams, etc.
  8. When you see these behaviors, make sure to praise and encourage them. It will continue if they know it is being noticed and they will feel even better about themselves for doing the right thing.


Is there harm in a little "white lie"? Here's one way to decide. If the person who was lied to found out about the lie, would they thank you for caring or feel betrayed and lose trust in you? If they would thank you, then it is probably OK to tell the lie.

  1. Give lots of praise for being honest
  2. Give clear guidance on right and wrong
  3. Never label them as a "liar" or "cheater"
  4. Explore the reasons behind the behavior
  5. Stay calm, be firm and fair
  6. Always tell the truth yourself, you teach by how you live
  7. If you find out that your child has not been honest in some way, confront them. There is no need to wait for the confession. Try to get across to them that what they did was wrong and somehow needs to be corrected. Do this without lecturing or humiliating; everyone will make mistakes along the way. Sometimes the lesson is learned more deeply if the mistake has been made. Make sure that there is a consequence that is both firm and fair. If possible have them make amends if the situation fits. Always affirm and praise their honesty. This will reinforce the importance of honesty more effectively as opposed to punishing dishonesty.

  1. Show reliability by promptly returning things that you borrow and arriving at appointments on time.
  2. When paying the bills, explain that you are making good on your promise to pay.
  3. Don't ask your child to lie for you, even small lies (like telling someone on the phone that you aren't home) can send the wrong message.
  4. Keep your promises and explain how it feels when someone doesn't keep theirs. Explain that forgetting isn't an excuse; trustworthy people find a way to remember
  5. Show loyalty by keeping in contact with your friends and relatives, both near and far, encourage your child to do the same.
  6. Talk about times in your life when it is/was hard to be honest, keep promises, and do the right thing.
  7. Admit your own mistakes and shortcomings; they will be more likely to do the same when they know you make mistakes too
  8. We get what we give. When we give unconditional love, room to grow and learn, when we gently weed out negative behavior and choices, we get honesty in our homes and are raising responsible children who are developing a deep sense of integrity. Gandhi once said, "We have to be the world we want our children to see."