Of Character Excerpt
the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
Oxford Dictionary of English
“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters areformed....Great necessities call out great virtues.” Abigail Adams (1774–1818)What is character? Character is doing the right thing for the right reason even when it’s hardor unpopular. Character is doing what you think is best even when others will not understand.Character is acknowledging when you are wrong and learning the lessons from thatacknowledgement. Character frees you from the need to be right or popular. Character is aboutwhat you do when you know no one is watching or how you conduct yourself when you knowsomeone trusts you enough not to check up on you. Character is what helps you sleep well evenwhen things are not going perfectly. Character is the combination of personality and behavior that when well and consistently practiced makes for a life worth living. Character is the mostimportant, and sometimes least noticed, contribution you make to your family and friends,community, the world, and yourself. No one can take away good character; only you can give, sell, or throw it away. Character iswhat you have left when others look at your life and think you have lost everything. Character iswhat lets you enjoy being at the top of the world or an “overnight success” without losing perspective because you know that external success is not everything. Character is what preventsyou from behaving in oppressive or one-down thinking about others when you are successful.Character is what stops you from thinking of yourself as one-down when you are presently notsuccessful by external standards.
As I live my life, help me take stock of my character. Help me appreciateand gratefully enjoy my assets. Help me be willing to become more
aware and ask for removal of my defects, then give me the strength to act on my assets.