“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

– John Wooden, American basketball coach


mage from Flickr by Arlington County

I was enterprising as a young boy. At age 11, I mowed lawns during summer and shoveled snow during winter to earn money to purchase things I wanted. One winter day, I was headed out to shovel snow in our neighborhood, and my dad asked me to shovel our elderly next door neighbor’s sidewalk and not charge for the effort.

I must admit I hemmed and hawed, thinking this request unfair, and I remember my dad’s words, “It will build your character.” To this day, I can’t lift a shovel of snow without those words running through my mind.


What are the things you do or could do, without anyone knowing, that contribute to your character?

If you happen to be a coach, mentor, parent, teacher, or other service-oriented individual, how can you share today’s nugget of wisdom with the coach-able people in your life?