Last Friday, I was playing pickleball at the Red Bank Community Center in South Portland. Six banners hung on the gymnasium wall, reading “character counts.” The six concepts were respect, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility, citizenship and caring.

It’s vital to teach children these qualities. However, are we collectively living and modeling these values as adults? I think not. How can children really embrace and internalize these ideas today when adult role modeling can be so suspect and inconsistent?

I stood on the gym floor, scratching my head, feeling both hope and confusion. As I was about to leave the building I saw something written on poster board. It read, “With power comes great responsibility.” I believe this is the essence of parenting and leadership at all levels of life. It’s wonderful that we are teaching these values to our children, but it’s equally crucial to humbly live this way as adults.

John Rich, LCSW

South Portland

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