Imagine a world where honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality, and respect are evident in great abundance. This is the world that Dr. Betty Siegel is laboring to develop. Through the Siegel Initiatives ethical leadership, character education, and invitational learning Dr. Siegel and her team actively spread the word or ethics to educators, community leaders, and government officials on a global scale.
Developing character must begin on a smaller and more personal scale as individuals must examine their own personal value system and understand how their actions and decisions are affected by these values and beliefs. Ethical leaders emerge when individuals embrace who and what they stand for.
Character is not formed over a few short years. Rather, it is developed over a lifetime. Making character education available to as many people as possible, across the globe, is part of Dr. Siegel’s vision. Educational institutions that serve any demographic of a society can be the conduit of this character building process.
Character education is about teaching basic human values. The five core beliefs are respect, trust, optimism, intentionality, and service. Teaching these beliefs throughout the world will create a common ethical language. From this common thread, together the peoples of the world can embrace the potential of the human race to do great things on an individual, community, country, and worldwide scale.
The common future that all individuals share will increasingly depend upon working toward resolutions using the core beliefs. Democracy cannot exist in hostile climates. It requires fertile ground that has been carefully cultivated. This cultivation cannot take place overnight. It requires great effort and intentionality. This reality requires the common language that character education brings.
Dr. Siegel’s recent travels to South Africa were part of an effort to strengthen the membership of the International Alliance for Invitational Education (IAIE). This organization unites teachers, leaders, health professionals, and many others to identify and fight against forces that oppose the realization of human potential, a potential that can be freed through widespread character education.
In a society where citizens are productive and embrace the core beliefs, democracy can be planted and flourish. Leadership can govern with a greater concern for all. A common thread that can join the countries of the world can be created by the vision and belief that human potential should be discovered and developed. Character education is at the root of building societies like these.
Dr. Siegel’s vision of making character education available through learning institutions everywhere has the potential to reach those outside of the institutions’ walls. As the students, teachers, and leaders enter into contact with the community, they will disseminate the knowledge through word and example.
The future includes tomorrow and every day after. Planning today for the future is what the Character Ethics and Leadership Initiatives of Dr. Betty L. Siegel embodies. The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. By arming them with tools of respect, trust, optimism, intentionality, and service, their potential to uplift and raise human potential will be great. The wave of change across the landscape will be felt beyond the homes and communities. It will be felt across the globe.