Character saves lives, as the story of Nicholas Winton teaches us. It also defines each one of us as a person and in the process, shapes entire nations and determines their course. This is why the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has devoted talent and resources to the character issue. Though much of our work focuses on specific public policy issues, we know that good policy ultimately derives from good character. That’s another way of saying that we shouldn’t expect government to be any better than the people it reflects. We hope that these two essays will help spark a revival of interest in the critical role that character plays in a free society.