Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

3 Ways to Understand “Character” – 1st (of 7) “Super Words”

11/11/2009

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The first of 7 posts regarding “Super Words!”   The first is “Character.”

When people talk about the character of someone, what do you think they mean?

Webster defines character in many ways, but pertaining to the individual, these are the applicable definitions: 

  • One of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual
  • The complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation

Most of us understand the character of a  person (whom we consider unique and notable in character) in 3 practical ways.

1.  The person represents what we think is good; a person we could trust and like.

2.  The person is focused on principle, duty, and concern for others.

3.  The person has the conviction to sacrifice for the greater good, to accomplish truly important things

We talk of “developing character,”  and that certainly occurs during our lifetime.  However our character is the product of many things — our beliefs, our experiences, our struggles, and our goals.   It is often influenced by our role models, and examples from whom we learn and who we admire.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. — Helen Keller, American social activist, public speaker and author (1880-1968).

To further develop our character we may need to:

1.  Work on building trust,  and change habits as required to be the person we desire to be.

2.  Focus on principle, duty, and concern for others.

3.  Make the changes needed to accomplish truly important things.

Please share a comment with your thoughts about understanding the character of an individual, and what we may do to further develop our character.

And please join me for the next post in this series of  “Super Words.”  It is about “Commitment.”

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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