Developing Character

In an article on aviation safety, John King states that it is not the lack of skill that makes an unsafe pilot but “the lack of humility, ethics, and responsibility toward others”.  A safe pilot is one who has “self-knowledge, self-mastery, [cares] about what’s really important, and [gives] aviation the time and devotion it and our passengers deserve”. [1]

In other words, a pilot’s character is more important than his/her piloting skills.  If this is true, our aviation schools should focus just as much on developing a pilot’s character as his/her skills in flying an airplane.

Who in today’s world focuses on developing the character of individuals?  Schools want to fill students’ brains with knowledge.  Religious organizations are more interested in teaching the correct doctrine.  No one wants to touch character because that involves deciding between right and wrong behaviors.

C. S. Lewis’ book, The Abolition of Man, asserts there is one set of objective values in our world which he calls the Tao and the purpose of education is to teach us the Tao.  This is also God’s purpose for us.  He does not just want us to know the correct doctrine, he wants us to be a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).


[1]   John King, “Pilots Who Should Scare Us”, Flying, July, 2014, p. 12.

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