When you consider the term “character”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What exactly do you mean by the word character? According to the urban dictionary, the character is either a person in an act of a play or that it refers to mental and moral virtues or lack of any.
While the term character is widely used, it should be pointed out that it is more disparagingly used these days given the current political climate. Essentially, we use the term to refer to someone’s personality and the various qualities that they may possess. I am sure that you must have heard about this particular phrase at some point, “the strength of his or her character”; that particular phrase relates to the strength of his personality and is often used in conjunction with ‘trust’. Here are a few points that you may want to consider when discussing ‘character’.
- The fact remains that when we interact with others, we have this tendency to judge them based on their personality or character. It is important for us to gauge the other person accurately so that we can trust them. Apart from person to person interactions, even companies use personality-based tests to gauge a person’s character and to see if a person of a certain character would be a good fit for their company or not. For example, a person whose character is defined by his reclusiveness and therefore, not that sociable may find it hard to fit into a role that forces him to do just the opposite. The bottom line, a good character often acts as a certificate, both in your personal life and professional one.
- This is why it is important that we teach our children, good character values from a young age. Most psychologists do agree that childhood development is a pivotal part of your age wherein you inculcate your kids with values, principles, a sense of right and wrong and along with these, good character values. It is important that we stress the importance of developing good character values early on and reinforce the same through various stories, world history lessons or religious lessons so that our children can relate easily and understand the importance of these lessons and develop their values based on their good character messages.
- A good character reference will go a long way and granted that this is the digital age and that there are many qualifications that you can use to beef up your resume. But at the end of the day, it is the strength of your character that will help others to trust you and more importantly help see you through the various challenges that life may throw at you. For example, if you happen to be stubborn, then you are less likely to just give up and run off just because things have gotten harder – instead, you would have just gritted your teeth and hanged on for dear life. Tolerance of different opinions and teamwork, getting along with your peers is a good example.
The development of character is not a modern issue. Plato once said:
And once we have given our community a good start,’ I pointed out, ‘ the process will be cumulative. By maintaining a sound system of education you produce citizens of good character, and citizens of sound character, with the advantage of a good education, produce in turn children better than themselves and better able to produce still better children in their turn, as can be seen with animals.
Leon Trotsky was a Soviet revolutionary, Marxist theorist, and politician and while some of his political views were controversial his view on the good character was not:
The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
This is exactly why we need to make sure that our kids grow up with a good value system and develop a strong character that prepares them effectively for the life ahead.
“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education,” said Martin Luther King. Jr wisely.