In the past fifty years, according to Stephen Covey, the author of the bestselling book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” most of the success literatures written were superficial. Likewise, he said that these literatures were geared towards the amplification of the social image consciousness, quick fixes and techniques. These quick fixes appear to solve the basic problems of our lives, yet these quick fixes are only aspirins and band-aid solutions, and do not really address the acute underlying source of problem. Hence, these underlying acute problems, since unsolved and untouched, would usually resurface time and time again.
Let’s take, for example, the concept of beauty which is often the most amplified and highlighted aspect of modern life. The social media nowadays and the various ads on TV, radio, and the internet would readily and simply extol beauty as if it is the very essence of a person. Ads usually would present a person with a flawless skin as the epitome of beauty, to the detriment and oblivion of the concept of inner beauty. These ads would subtly say that if you got flawless skin, you are essentially beautiful. Likewise, if you got a curvaceous body with great vital statistics, you are indeed beautiful. These insinuations from the social media would definitely cajole us into thinking that beauty is indeed skin deep. Hence, anything that would make the skin beautiful and shine flawlessly would be highly sought by modern humans. Moreover, these insinuations have definitely filtered down into the subconscious mind of many people to a point that the ageing process is branded as a disease and something to be avoided at all cost. For this reason, hundreds of skincare products like anti-aging creams are selling like hotcakes in the beauty market, and the manufacturers of these products are raking in millions and even billions of dollars in profit. Additionally, retinol cream online, purportedly capable of bringing in a rebirth in the beauty of the skin is one of the highly sought after products, and this is due to the personality-centered focus of our social media.
Yet, there is an essentially important ethics which is essentially the very focus of most literatures written 50 years ago and before. This is the character ethics which is based on solid principles and focuses on the inner beauty of a person. It deals with the development of character and the imbibing of great habits based on solid principles such as integrity, fidelity, industry, courage, justice, and even simplicity. It doesn’t amplify the external beauty of a person which it sees as lacking in substance and is simply external and fleeting. It zeroes in on the very foundation of a happy life which is a life that is founded on solid principles. The shift to personality ethics basically started after World War I, when success and happiness started to be viewed as the function of the public image and personality.
Without this shift back to character ethics, people will always be frustrated about life when the ageing process sets in and when their external appearance suddenly begins to sag, pale, and diminish. But if you focus yourself in the buildup of your character, you will certainly laugh off the ageing process as part and parcel of the growing up and maturing process of every human person.