The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the “little” choices of years past – by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation . . .whispering the lie that “it really doesn’t matter.” It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away – the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity – or dishonor and shame.
(quotation from his speech at the Commencement exercises at The Citadel in 1993)