Group photo of the Call to Conversation in Kentfield, CA at the Walsh home

A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Kentfield, CA on May 2, 2018 to discuss Leadership & Character.

Overview of our Call to Conversation:

  • Everyone shared wonderful examples of when they’ve seen character in action, whether through a family member, friend, or a stranger.
  • We spoke about what you do when no one is watching and the idea we kept coming back to all throughout the night was putting your grocery cart away versus leaving it in the parking lot.
  • Character does not always need to be a big momentous act, but can be in the small things.
  • Some key words from the evening included resolution, sacrifice, strength, courage, resilience, dignity, respect, and connection

A few highlights of our conversation:

  • Everyone’s story talked about positive impact. Do we learn character or are we born with character? Can character be taught to this college generation, or do we need to expose kids to good character and let them make their own choices? A good metaphor: do we bake character into our children or do we just give them the necessary ingredients and leave them in the kitchen?
  • Character oftentimes involves putting others first; this is especially important in the Bay Area, which tends to have a “me first” mentality. Many people shared that in Marin everyone “is the best,” and there isn’t space for niceness.
  • If we don’t exercise our character it becomes weak.
  • Today’s generation is externally focused (with “pressure apps” like Instagram and Snapchat) and many students think they’re not experiencing something unless they’re digitally chronicling it. “Comparison is the thief of joy” – joy should be authentic and we need to “be here now.” If we’re focusing on comparing our experiences digitally with others, we’re not being true to ourselves.