Like most parents, my wife and I believe that straight teeth are a real asset to a person, so we invested in braces for three of our children who needed them. By spending a considerable sum of money for a beautiful smile, we have received more than a good return on that investment. . .When I see an adult wearing braces and the opportunity presents itself, I commend him or her for their foresight and willingness to suffer some temporary pain and possible embarrassment in order to achieve a long-term benefit.
I say all of this to point out that a good smile is important, but at the same time I would like to emphasize that good character is substantially more important. I'm puzzled as to why we don't invest more of our resources in the teaching of a character foundation to more of our children. Evidence is solid that the foundation stones of honesty, character, integrity, the right attitude, hard work, thrift, dependability and a host of other character qualities are the things that separate those people who really succeed in their professions and personal lives from those who enjoy only moderate success. Our founding fathers were taught those foundational qualities from birth. Actually, over 90% of all of the educational thrust in those days, according to the Thomas Jefferson Research Institute, was aimed at teaching ethical, moral and spiritual values. Its effectiveness is evidenced by the lives of Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe, Franklin and numerous others.
I believe if all of us would analyze this approach to life, we would get just as enthusiastic about character development as we are winning smiles. Straighten your teeth and you will have a winning smile. Straighten and strengthen your character and life will smile on you.
. . . Adapted from Zig's book, SOMETHING ELSE TO SMILE ABOUT, published by Thomas Nelson.