Letters to the Editor

Bastian letter: Character matters

Henry Thoreau once said, “For every thousand people hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one chopping at the roots.” We keep thinking if our kids were just smart enough, society’s problems would vanish.

However, studies have found that the qualities that matter most when it comes to success and happiness are not how early children learn to read and write. Rather they are found in character traits like determination, honesty, diligence and being conscientious. Bob Kustra said, “Character matters when it comes to student success.” And character matters when it comes to human survival and public safety.

If we aren’t careful, our biggest challenge will be saving ourselves from ourselves. “Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase the human life from this planet,” Dwight Eisenhower said.

Douglas MacAurthur observed a similar catastrophe when he wrote, “We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at the door. The problem basically ... involves the improvement of human character.”

Science with all its good intentions cannot affect a lasting, foolproof, beneficial change in humans in nature without changing his heart.

Morris Bastian, Boise