Most models of character focus on either the will or the reason. Neither work very well. They are not strong enough to overrule emotion.
Instead, the crucial step in building good character is the first one: how we perceive the situation. This is where our emotions are first engaged. Perceiving and judging are the same act.
People of good character perceive the world the right way. This makes it possible for their reason and their will to channel action in the right direction.
How we perceive the world the right way is a mystery, the result of a million good influences. The most important influences come down to:
- Being in a virtuous community;
- Seeing virtuous action; and
- Doing virtuous action