Of all the attributes I think to be important for any individual, not just in the modern day, but literally ever, one of the weightiest is without a doubt, character.
Do you know a person to whom you can go, and be sure he or she will always do his or her best to treat you with respect and care? And when that person talks about you or anyone else, you’re well assured he or she won’t be disparaging or speak evil.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean they won’t say things they think need to be known about you or others; just that when they do so, it’ll be done out of at least a perceived need, and probably with the idea of helping the person spoken about, or protecting others from the possibility of mistreatment or bad acting on the part of him or her in question.
How many people can you name, who you can pretty much invariably expect to do the right thing whether others are looking on or not? You know they’ll do their best to act in the most correct, and most reasonable ways; and they’re not doing what they’re doing to impress, but because it’s the right thing to do.
These are the hallmarks of strong character.
It’s always been true, that there are some who possess these traits, and others—sadly, typically a good many—who doubtless, do not.
That said, I think we’re coming to an age, in which too many people count, either on anonymity, or the idea they’ll be idolized as rebels, when they behave in ways that’re not in realms that are honorable, and proper.
The sad truth? Far too much of the time, they’re correct.
It has become reasonable to assume people will all but worship you, for ill behaved actions and statements.
It’s also fair these days, to say that many take advantage of the fact that they’re able to hide their identities while sniping at others, in ways that are far from proper.
There are a couple of interesting things about character.
The first is that it doesn’t pick sides of its own accord. Put another way, you can have people with entirely different beliefs, yet each one may or may not possess it. There are viewpoints in which it may not be found. That said, in most cases, it either is, or isn’t present.
As such, people who possess it, will usually make it their business to be civil to others who do likewise—even if they find themselves in major disagreements.
Another important point, is that character alone, is not somehow a substitute for other attributes you might hope an individual carries along with it.
For example, character doesn’t somehow replace the need for something like, wisdom. Put simply, just because a man or woman is upright in intent, doesn’t indicate they necessarily understand what’s truly good and correct.
These properties must be gained as companions to character; neither can character replace wisdom, nor wisdom, character, for example.
The fact is, a person can show themselves to be a someone of character, yet not an individual of intelligence. As such, he or she may never achieve elucidation, even though he or she works to maintain integrity.
I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. In my mind, it’s obviously best if somebody attains both. That said, one is dealt one’s hand and must play it.
To be fair, I’ve made it my business to say, I don’t consider my intelligence level to be all that high. That said, what I lack in smarts, I like to think I have sufficient persistence the which may cover that lack.
These aren’t per se asides, so much as a recognition of what does, and what need not, play into character.
I’m sure most folks have met people who were very obviously extremely driven by a desire to do right by others. You probably noticed that when it was clear a road was the correct one, they would unwaveringly plot a course in that direction, not concerning themselves with the fact that, at times, they were destined to suffer for so doing.
In these days of instant gratification, it’s difficult to say the least, to get folks to understand that sort of commitment to uprightness.
The funny thing is, more often than not, when a person was willing to live in that place, it was common for them to receive various rewards from their choices, after having suffered the expected or anticipated losses.
That’s not always the case, obviously. One need only look at the Founders of the United States, to be clear in the idea, that being a person of character, might cause one, to literally lose all for which he or she has spent a lifetime toiling.
Being sure in the belief, the path taken is the correct one, whatever the penalties or benefits though, is an excellent sign that a person will do what’s necessary, to be shown over time as one of great nobility—of character.
I ask you now, to look into your life. I adjure to consider the obvious question, “Am I a person of character?” If the answer seems to you to be, “No.” perhaps it’s time to rectify that.
Do you really want to live out your life, being viewed by others as lacking that essential trait?
If you can’t bring yourself to care how people outside your family see you, perhaps a look at how your children or grandchildren do so, will help to change your mind.
My father was an odd man. He was quirky. He was different. One thing I can certainly say when I think on him though, is that he was definitely a man of character. This fact shapes my existence to this very day.
So, you may not have seen in past, the value in being a person of character. That considered, I hope today, you’ll decide to become such, if it’s not something you already count yourself. Some traits never go out of style. Character is definitely among those that will ever be desirable.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.