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Character Virtue Development

“Wherever we find ourselves in life, whatever the circumstances, whatever habits may be influencing our decisions,” Sir John Templeton wrote, “we can transform each situation into a learning and growing experience. We can determine how to be the masters of our habits so that our habits can be useful servants to us.” For Sir John, such self-awareness and personal growth depended on a deeper understanding of the circumstances in which good character flourishes and of the roots of good character in human nature, whether understood from a scientific, philosophical, or religious point of view.

The Foundation supports a broad range of programs, publications, and studies focused on the universal truths of character development, from childhood through young adulthood and beyond. The qualities of character emphasized by Sir John in the Foundation’s charter include awe, creativity, curiosity, diligence, entrepreneurialism, forgiveness, future-mindedness, generosity, gratitude, honesty, humility, joy, love, purpose, reliability, and thrift.

We remain open to other possibilities for extending our activities in the area of character development, especially projects that deal with the crucial relationship between culture (as expressed in beliefs, values, and worldview) and behavior. As Sir John emphasized in the "Laws of Life" that he saw as the key to character development, "When you rule your mind, you rule your world."

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By Dr. Jack Templeton

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