FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHARACTER BUILDING AND TYPES OF CHARACTERS
God has created every individual differently; physically and mentally, besides trait of discrimination is also bestowed in us humans. Being so, it is natural that every person’s personality is different. These traits may be inherent or imbibed from the environs in which a person is living. In the initial stages our family lays solid foundation of our character and afterwards formal and informal institutions chip in and play their respective roles. These personality traits which we imbibe in ourselves leave a lasting / permanent impression on our psyche and we act accordingly in an emergent situation based entirely on strength or weakness of our character.
Abraham Lincoln had very rightly said: ‘Character is a tree and reputation is its shadow’. The shadow, so formed, is commensurate with the size or measure of the tree. Similarly, the stature or standing of a person increases as the size / stature of a person matures and undergoes a positive change. The quality of fruit given by the tree depends on the nutrition and watering that a plant gets from the time of a seedling to onward growth. The scope and meaning of character has been changing as per change in the society. Here customs, traditions and conventions too play their role in ascertaining the character of an individual. Though words moral and immoral are inevitably associated with the character of an individual yet here too there is a thin line. A tradition or a custom immoral for one society may not be so in other cultures. What is considered a normal thing in some societies may be construed as a moral degradation in other!
History is replete with several examples to show us that the rock-hard foundation laid down by the parents had lasting impression on the great personages who shined like bright starts in the pinnacles of history; that values learned in early days make huge difference.
- Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother, developed in Shivaji a spirit of noncompliance of unethical rulers and self assertion thus made him in essence an epitome of indomitable courage which he exhibited in abundance while facing his detractors.
- Jhansi Ki Rani, lost her mother at her childhood itself.. She was brought up by her father. She was embodiment of courage, self-respect and heroism besides being a symbol of womanhood which is recounted by historians. She was also the great heroine of the First War of Indian Freedom.
- Abraham Lincoln said of his mother: God bless my mother; all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her.
- Mahatama Gandhi was immensely influenced by his mother Putlibhaji in his early days. She was highly religious and most austere beliefs which had a lasting impression on Gandhiji.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was both idealistic and realistic with a strong sense of justice. The traits of dynamism were imbibed from his father and the qualities of commitment to faith were imbibed from his mother.
Once character is thus formed, it has to be assiduously maintained / up-kept like a spotless sheet of white cloth. Even a pin-size of black ink spot on that spotless cloth will spoil the entire cloth piece; its blackness cannot be easily omitted totally. Character is also like this; it cannot be redeemed at leisure, if its sanctity has been tarnished through our immoral acts of omissions and commissions even once.
A few days back, I was flabbergasted by an employee’s immoral act; to what limit a person can stoop when that personal has not got control over his senses! He is presently around 45 years with his wife and children grown up. He is having around 25 years unblemished service with the institute. There was no red or black ink entry in his service documents till yesterday. All his good things done during these long years just were nullified / paled to just nothing by a single act of immoral act which he resorted to! The crime was so heinous that his services were terminated and would be facing further repercussions even hereinafter too. We can deduce from this that how best we can keep away from immoral or unethical actions depends on our personality traits or character. People with strong character exercise control over their irrational stimuli and thus come out from the situations wherein a normal person may have stuck irretrievably. How we react on the spur depends on the strength or weakness of our character.
Initially parents and afterward teacher play a prominent role in molding the character of a child. The amount of value education (physiological, psychological, mental, moral, et al) that a child gets determines the character of an individual child for its all round development. Value education, in other words, is like nutrition to a plant which ensures its growth. There are customary and distinctive characteristics that are inherent in character. The former are the ones we acquire from our families, formal and informal institutions of the society and the latter ones are the ones which we get from our parents genes and are particular to an individual.
A person of character will act according to the need; what a situation demands and not swayed by the stimulus. He will take into cognizance pros and cons of the situation and circumstances then go all out in solving a problem. A man with steadfast character will take every event a new experience. Failure for that person is a stepping stone for still more tries. Equanimity is his strength no matter what happens. A person with character will have more positive qualities like patience, persistence, perseverance and a quality of head and heart besides forgetting and forgiving are his strong personality traits.
What is more important is the meaning we attach to character and the place one gives in daily life experiences which counts. Character depends on not only heredity but also the environment in which one is brought up.
All said and done, character is the index of the state of mind of a person. It is a sum total of motivation one gives to the persons around him and also does course correction whenever there is a dire need for same. Characters may differ as an individual differs but one thing is certain the special characteristics form the solid basis of his stability in the society of which he is a part. Character, thus is an index of a person’s standing in the society.
Characters differ as a man differs. Following are some of the characters:-
- Self-realized Character. A self realized person is ever enthusiastic for he knows his potentialities and limitations. Our past karmic debits have to be neutralized with the persistent efforts of good Karmic credits with fullest spiritual inroads even can triumph over his destiny with the grace of our Creator. This sort of a character is an asset not only to the family but also the society in which he/she lives.
- Covetous Character. A person with greed will endeavour to go all out in collecting worldly possessions and fulfilling his personal petty ambitions by adopting any means open to him even crossing all the limits of moral and ethical limits. The status acquired makes that fellow most arrogant, repulsive, slanderer and fully bereft of any moral feelings for the humans. He is the burden not only on the family but also the society in which he lives.
- Superstitious Character. In a way all are superstitious but when we’re over superstitious then problem starts. It is not merely bad for the individual concerned but also for those who come in contact with this unpredictable person, who may change his tag any moment thus leaving everybody around in the lurch. Too much reliance on superstitions also robs us of scientific temper and forward looking approach in our life. But we should not compare superstitious and traditionalists.
- Egoistic /Overbearing / Bossy / Tall-Talker. The person who thinks that world runs due to him and everything and everybody should respect him as such. His overbearing and bossy disposition puts him in the category of hard-to-please (fastidious). This like person learns his lesson after sometimes. This fellow with ‘I-DAMN-CARE- ATTITUDE’ hardly cares for others. Day before yesterday, what happened in a public rally where a farmer committed suicide in everybody’s glare, including leaders of a political party, is a case in point. Multiple of thousands people were there but nobody including the people sitting on the dais cared for a crying farmer and saved his life in time! Passing the buck for the episode hardly absolves those ego ridden people. This sort of egocentric characters are the bane of any society, irrespective of their status in the society.
- Anti-social Character. A person who neither care for the norms set by the society nor cares fig for the moral or ethical values is an anti-social character. This like character is both a sinner and a criminal. He could also be termed as an offensive character. This like character resorts to offense besides being abusive on even a pettiest pretext. This anti-social behavior cuts him off from the community in which he is living and has to fend for himself ultimately for his acts of omissions and commissions.
- Insincere Character. When a person does something good for us, we express our sincere thanks and go extra mile in being sincere to that person in whatever way it is possible for us. Contrarily, a person who thinks others are there for serving him and is without any warmth in the feeling for others. This like person is not only a insincere to his own family, society and even to the Creator who had created him!
- Complacent Character. We all should have confidence on ourselves. It is good for day to day functioning of our society. But when we cross the threshold of confidence and step into the realm of complacency then problem starts. A person who imbibes this trait finally faces ignoble defeat for being so and learns a lesson.
Conclusively, it could be inferred that which kind of personality traits we want to emulate and practice is our freewill. Want to have magnetic character which pulls everybody towards him / her or a repulsive one depends solely on us. Let’s imbibe the former traits.