Florence Haridan

Executive Director - Character Counts! In Jacksonville, AIGA / Design Organization

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What does strength of character mean to you? What are your OWN character strengths? How do you express them?

I currently work to develop character and ethics training for Character Counts! in Jacksonville. I serve two populations right now, the business community and the world of corrections. I came to this work as a designer, coach, spiritual adventurer...each of our lives has been created by a series of experiences. We are who were are. Right? Wrong? I work each and every day with people who are seeking change in their lives and the world. We work to strengthen the gifts, mitigate the weaknesses and create anew.

I am ever curious as to what brings someone to the place of willingness to ask for help. Generally, it is two spaces, desperation or pure passion. These two states of mind transcend the ego. They, in my experience serve to short circuit the ego and open the heart and mind to other options.

So much of the work to be done within the world requires us to be willing to step into our character and to be true to ourselves first. The we are able to be what is needed for the world. I work with so many who have amazingly brilliant ideas and then are paralyzed by the vastness of them. We work to create a view point that honors the idea and that opens them to see why this idea is meant to come to life. From that place of self awareness, focus becomes easier to accomplish. Plans are able to be created and accomplished. Yet as the journey begins to get harder, the egoic fear often returns.

I believe that continued conversations about our character will lead to a world that is supportive, loving and creative. When I moderate sessions, I see people's, entire beings change before my eyes. As they speak to their truths, they remember who they are and why they are here on this planet. It is quite miraculous to be honest. I never tire of bearing witness to people finding the sense of self that connects them to the whole. As we allow ourselves to rest into ourselves, I KNOW, the world be be a better place.