CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

May 21, 2024 - 1:05pm --

This week while talking with some of my friends, we were sharing how challenging life can be. There were a variety of concerns, everything from career goals to caring for family members of a range of ages.  Regardless of our outlook, whether it is personal or professional, we will all, at some time or another have time to reframe our focus to the big picture. 

 I found this from Michael Josephson founder of the Josephson Institute.  Michael is known for his work in Character Education, and he’s got some great videos online if you’d like to check them out.  He’s spent a lifetime working to inspire Character Education, but the following are words that inspired me, and I offer them to you for your consideration.  No matter what life looks like today, we can all learn and apply this insight to making tomorrow better.

  • “I am a work in progress. But the process can be either growth or decay. I choose growth, knowing there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be, and I can do something to close that gap.”
  • “It’s easier to talk about integrity than to live it. The true test is my willingness to do the right thing even when it costs more than I want to pay.  I’ve learned that no matter how I behave, some people will be mean-spirited, dishonest, irresponsible, and unkind, but if I fight fire with fire, all I’ll end up with is the ashes of my own integrity.”
  • “Character is more important than reputation and more important than competence.  It takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it. I have a tendency to judge myself by my best intentions and most noble acts but, in the end, I may be judged by my last worst act.”
  • “I can’t always control what will happen to me, but I have a lot to say about what happens in me. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  Attitudes not only change my life, but they are also contagious, and they can change the lives of people I interact with. Attitudes, both good and bad, are contagious.”
  • “Happiness is deeper and more enduring than either pleasure or fun. I’ve learned that what is fun or pleasurable is not always good for me and what is good for me is not always fun or pleasurable. I’ve also learned that I’m generally as happy as I’m willing to be. Finally, I’ve learned that the surest road to happiness is good relationships and that the best way to have good relationships is to be a good person.”

As you ponder the above, I hope there are a couple of statements from Michael, that allow some deep reflection.  There might also be opportunities for discussion around the dinner table (or on the way to the next sports event).  Personal and professional growth take a certain amount of time and introspection and I hope something here might spark a place to start.  Happy Spring!

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or
This article was previously published in The Daily Record