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Issue Prompt-5

“The idea that individuals should focus on personal self-improvement assumes that there is something inherently wrong with people.”


A best-selling book offers “Seven Ways to Become a Better Person.” A radio ad promises you will feel great in 30 days or less just by taking some pills. “If you buy our exercise equipment,” a TV ad guarantees, “you’ll have the body you’ve always wanted.” And don’t miss that talk show today because the guest speaker will teach you how to have confidence. In today’s society, we are continually bombarded with the latest techniques of how to better ourselves, a focus which some feel is unhealthy. On the contrary, a focus on self-improvement is very important in helping people grow in character.


Although some may believe that focusing on the need for self-improvement assumes that there is something inherently wrong with people, this focus maintains quite the opposite. In fact, self-improvement helps build character. Building character involves taking a person’s strengths and building on them. Such strengths as unselfishness can be developed into a lifelong habit of generosity, a positive spirit into an unfailing compassion for others. Everyone has strength in character and the ability to build on these strengths through self-improvement.


Everyone also has weaknesses. Weaknesses are not flaws, but rather negative traits that, through self-improvement, can be developed into more positive traits. For example, impatience can be turned into determination to accomplish goals. Strong will can be turned into perseverance. If a person can just find a way to capitalize on a weakness, it can be turned into a strength. Self-improvement is the best way to do this.


Recent focus on self-improvement is valuable because of the wealth of resources such a focus offers. There is a plethora of different ways a person can work on self-improvement. Groups offer support for improvement, and individual strategies are available in many different forms. Books and videos offer plans for developing a positive attitude. Gyms and health stores offer ways to build self-esteem by building better health.


No matter the method a person chooses for self-improvement, every individual has room to improve. Even when a person reaches a specific goal of improvement, there are still ways to build on character and become a person with more positive traits. Those who grow in character, grow in self-esteem, which then breeds confidence. Confidence and a feeling of self-worth give people the power to positively influence those around them. Positive influences are invaluable in our society, so we should never stop making an effort to improve ourselves.

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