On my mind:  Character Counts

Not to be confused with some of the characters you may have met along the way.  character2Those specific characters (they know who they are) make life interesting, colourful and never dull.  I’m referring to a persons overall general disposition – the natural traits that define each of us as individuals.  character1Have you ever had reason to doubt someones character?

Unfortunately I’ve come to discover the hard way that I may have thinner skin than I was aware of.   It’s interesting that for all my travels and life experience how un-jaded I still am. I take words at face value and am always surprised when people are not as meaningful or as spiritual as they’ve led me to believe.  I’m disturbed (not in a life threatening way) by how hurtful people can become even if they don’t intend to be that way.  And at the same time I’m grateful to be the kind of person I am, to take people at face value, and believe that their intentions are honourable.  I’m forever optimistic and never ever bitter.  I just don’t understand the way some people operate.  Which led me to this character post in the first place.  And it leaves me vulnerable since it’s all so (also) personal.

Our character explains who we are, how we act and it highly influences the choices that we make in our lives.character3Day to day I take the good character of those I know for granted, but of late I’ve been impacted by the lack of integrity by some I believed I knew well. In general I don’t have any bad feelings towards anyone but I do question why someone would feel the need to say something they don’t mean or make a promise they don’t intend to keep because they think it’s what you want to hear.  It hurts more if it were someone you were once close with.  Maybe they don’t have the wherewithal to be completely open, or you’re of no use to them now that someone else has taken your place.  They lead you to believe that you still matter, yet their actions prove that you don’t.  They may not want to appear in a negative light. They attend to their own needs and you no longer play a part in their life. That’s fine although now they end up treating you with indifference – the very same way they do not wish to be treated. It’s understandable that circumstances change in your life, but a total shift in attitude is disheartening.  Then you begin to doubt how well you read people.

People who feel the need to say things they think you want to hear but don’t mean are just playing head games with you. But maybe that is their intention – to play a game.  I can’t get used to that kind of behaviour.  Feelings are feelings.  I value them. That’s why the saying goes – actions speak louder than words.  Because words are just that  – they’re only words.  And you can only judge a person by how they act.

This is just an observation.  Something to think about.  We all disappoint someone at one time or another and life circumstances can partly be responsible for our actions but here’s the breakdown for each of us to consider:

Character Traits:

Character traits will determine how a person responds or reacts when faced with a certain situation in life. For example, if someone has honesty as a character trait, he will always be truthful and say things that are true as opposed to a person who is not honest.  They’re authentic.


You are able to be your real and true self, without pretension, posturing, or insincerity. You are capable of showing appropriate vulnerability and self-awareness.

Why Character is Important

Character in life is what makes people believe in you and is essential both for individual success and for our society to function successfully. Each individual must do his or her part every day by living a life of integrity. Integrity is adhering to a moral code of honesty, courage, strength and truthfulness – being true to your word. When you don’t exhibit integrity, other people get hurt. But you hurt yourself even more.

When you cheat, your “success” is false. When you break a promise, you are showing that your word is meaningless. When you lie, you deceive others and lose their respect. All of those examples destroy your reputation and break the trust others have in you. Without your good reputation and trustworthiness, your relationships fail.

Relationships and Success

Relationships are the foundation for success in life.

For example, when you destroy the relationships with your friends, you will have no friends. You will be isolated and alone.

If a student promises not to cheat, but does, he is taking unfair advantage to put himself ahead of others without deserving it. He can ruin his reputation, his academic record and his job prospects forever.

When a businessman makes a promise to customers and doesn’t deliver, he destroys his relationships with his customers. His customers go elsewhere and his business fails.

By breaking your relationships, you break the foundation for success in your life. What is true success? For example, who is more successful? Someone who is famous and makes a great deal of money, or someone who has no fame, makes little money, but is a great parent? Today, in school, is too much emphasis being placed on “good grades” and “high test scores” – so much so that are these things, rather than good character, how we define success?


Your good character is the most important asset you have. It takes a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant. Once lost, it is difficult to regain. Your true character is revealed when no one else is looking. Often, people decide to act based on short term gain, or an easy fix to a problem and end up doing the wrong thing.

The old adage “you are what you do” is true. Failure to consider the long term consequences of your acts can be disastrous. By study and focusing on the importance of character, you will be guided by principles, moral strength, and integrity to do the right thing.  Nothing is more important for true success in your life.   Riches and resources are one thing, but good character counts for much more.

Any thoughts?

by mindful
be mindful

Source (for some of the traits) http://www.citrs.org/

One thought on “On my mind:  Character Counts

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