Author and businessperson Harvey MacKay wrote recently that he has hired “thousands” of people during his career and that he valued character over ability. Certainly, the applicants must have certain skills, but he wrote, “I’m willing to hire someone who doesn’t have perfect credentials but is willing to learn, because skills can be taught.”

My father believed the same thing. He once said, “I look for good people, then I teach them what I want them to do. And at the end of the year, I have a factory full of good people doing exactly what I want them to do.”

The subject of good people – of character – came to mind yesterday during a discussion. The person with whom I was talking had some viewpoints that were different than mine. We covered a lot of range and agreed on most things, but on some we did not. On those points, there was no acrimony, no battling.

You may not agree with everything I’m writing on these posts. And that’s OK. There are few things I would find more boring than a world in which everyone is in agreement all the time. We need different viewpoints to help us learn and grow.

The important thing is that we disagree openly and civilly, and most important, fairly. We should not allow innuendo, whispers and hearsay to drive our opinions and discussions, which are all unproductive and serve only to delay the solutions to our problems.

When I filed my campaign paperwork, I signed a document pledging to avoid those tactics. Anyone not running doesn’t have to put their behavior standards in writing and promise to maintain them the way I have done. But that doesn’t mean that those same rules don’t apply.