"One of the great myths is that character is like a trait—you’re either a person of good character or you’re a person of bad character, and there’s little opportunity for the development of character over the course of one’s life. In fact, research demonstrates that character is something one has to work at forming and developing over the course of our lives, just as we focus on developing our judgment. Some people are able to measure up to new responsibilities and challenges and pressures, and some people are not. And this is not so much because they were good or bad people, but because the pressure they were under either brought out their best selves or brought out their worst selves, and we all have both those selves in us.
1. Acting in morally competent ways requires rehearsal and repetition.
2. Structure and context have enormous, often hidden, power to shape what we perceive to be the range of choices open to us.