Can you learn to be kinder and braver? Can practice make you more persistent, more optimistic, and more compassionate?
Is it possible to cultivate your curiosity and creativity, widen your perspective, and strengthen your resilience?
These are important questions for us individually and collectively as we work on what it means to flourish as human beings in the 21st century.? For millennia, religions and wisdom traditions understood that their “job to get done” was to help people develop these strengths and virtues. Today, we are beginning to have the social science and neuroscience behind character development and our ability to shape who we are.
Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards, a friend and fellow innovator, has put these questions on the front burner for us to deeply consider. The premiere of her new film, THE SCIENCE OF CHARACTER, is TODAY! online and in over 1,500 schools and organizations around the world.
Tiffany aims to ignite a global conversation on how character strengths can be learned, practiced, and cultivated. The film, as all of her films, is inspiring and entertaining, vibrant and wise. She challenges the conventional belief that people are stuck with the character attributes they are born with. She posits that it is possible for anyone to build up their core character strengths and use them to achieve greater personal, academic, and professional success and happiness.
The premier of the film is accompanied by a 24-hour series of live events and online conversations that began last night, led by remarkable people in the field, highlighting the expanding research proving that positive characteristics like self-control, optimism, and gratitude can be nurtured and developed. So, welcome to #CharacterDay!
Irwin Kula is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Irwin’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Irwin has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O’Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. Irwin also serves as President Emeritus of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.