Character Strengths in a Person’s Life

Recently I have been reading ‘The Good Life’ by Hugh Mackay.  There was a section in it that resounded with me and I thought it was topical as the character strengths are clearly set out.  Molly King was the teacher of Hugh Mackay and he includes an extract from her obituary.  I just wanted to share the extract here on the blog! Enjoy!


“In no doubt about her vocation, she went from school to teachers’ college and [then to teach at] Bundanoon in rural NSW and at suburban Warrawee.  When asked to teach an ‘OC’ class of gifted children at Artarmon Public School, her response was typical: ‘Oh, I don’t think I could do that’.  ‘We think you could’, was the reply, and so she did and stayed for 36 years.  She couldn’t retire because she said , she’d have to make a speech.

She was a natural teacher – warm, intelligent, creative, meticulous – but there was something more.  She empowered children by believing in them so they came to believe in themselves.  She set high standards of behaviour – old fashioned courtesy, respect for others.

She had a rare ability to adapt – to be content.  She never said ‘I wish I had…’ or ‘I wish I were …’ She never envied anybody.  She found interest and pleasure in each moment, encounter and conversation but could be still and content with herself.

King held no high office; she neither travelled nor aspired to be a leader.  Her life – one of integrity, faith, humour, kindness and courage  – is a reminder that depth counts as much as breadth.”

“Albert Einstein would have approved of Miss King. ‘Try not to become a man of success’, he said, ‘but rather a man of value’.

(The Good Life Page 114)

Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s