SIGNIFICANCE OF CHARACTER IN OUR LIVES

SIGNIFICANCE OF CHARACTER IN OUR LIVES

The character is the evaluation/assessment of personality of an individual. Here personality signifies the traits/qualities, individuality and general behavior of an individual which distinguishes that person from others. It determines his attitude and staying power despite adverse situations. The term character and its significance have been discussed by different educationalists, philosophers, and thinkers.  Some say it is status and position, power and pelf etc. Others say, it is the moral principles which one possesses.

It is a fact that the index of the state of mind or the index of the personality of a person and the impression which it makes on the society in which he lives counts a lot. Men of true character always play the stellar role in influencing others and mold them according to the need of the ‘time’.

REPUTATION AND CHARACTER ARE TWO DISTINCT THINGS

In this context, Abraham Lincoln opines:- Reputation is the shadow, the character is the tree. Wheel of reputation could be favourable only for a limited period of time, just as the shadow of a tree which shifts from one direction to  another according to the shifting of the sunlight but a tree has staying power and gives shade, shelter to birds, purifies the environment, its green leafs help in photosynthesis in presence of sunlight besides providing timber and fuel and also used for cremation of dead bodies etc. Thus character is treelike which gives immense benefits to us.

CHARACTER CHANGES WITH TIME AND SPACE

Different individuals possess different sort of character i.e. it is individualistic in nature. Its description depends on the thinking capacity and capability of the person concerned. Its definition changes with the change in time and space. What was held important in the past may have no relevance at all presently.

MORAL, IMMORAL, ETHICAL AND UNETHICAL ARE IMPORTANT FACTORS IN CHARACTER

While discussing the character of an individual, the distinction is made on the basis of moral and ethical standpoints. The one who follows immoral turpitude/negative mannerism and violates moral principles and does not conform to the norms set by the society is a bad character. Such a person would like to attain his accomplishment of his/her work in hand does not command respect from his own people. It is a black-spot on the person concerned. It is a bad Karma which ultimately leads to addition in Karmic debt. I shall term such a person as a person with lose-character since he gets swayed by all sorts of temptations

In Bhagwad Gita it has been enunciated: They believe that to gratify the senses is the prime necessity of human civilization. Thus until the end of life, their anxiety is immeasurable. Bound by a network of hundreds of thousands of desires and absorbed in lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.

Contrarily, a person who follows correct norms of behavior, transacts his day to day routines and much more with total confidence and uses head and heart while performing any task. This sort of a person has an impeccable character with unquestionable integrity. This sort of a person does not transact anything which may hurt others’ feelings besides such a person is not secretive in anything he does or does not do. Such a person possesses magnetism to attract others. He creates positivity wherever he sets his foot.

TRAITS OF A PERSON WITH FLAWLESS CHARACTER

A person with flawless character is the one who puts one-and-one together and works on the principles of accommodation and cooperation. If there are differences, such person does not play with words or phrases but realizes the ground realities and adjusts to the genuine requirements. Traits of goodness and truthfulness, tolerant, patient are deep-rooted and inbuilt into the system of such person. Such a person is not swayed by different allurements.

EGOLESSNESS AND CHARACTER

I opine our character is the outcome of our inner strength which gives us sustenance or staying power in any venture we undertake – it may be putting our body and mind in the attainment of a goal or keeping balance both in happy and not so happy occasions besides not carried away by the challenges. Our character is tested when we possess the knack to accomplish our task without let or hindrance.

OUR CHARACTER IS TESTED WHEN WE FACE FAILURE

When failure knocks at the door of such a person, with immaculate character, tries again and again till such time success is achieved which is sweet since it is attained with sweat and perseverance.

A person with flawless character remains alert and whenever any emergency comes, he is ever ready to tackle an emergent situation with calm, composure, tact and with precision.

PARADOX OF PARENTING AND CHARACTER BUILDING

It is observed that appropriate parenting can make a huge difference in the life of a child. If we want our offspring to grow to be of sound character, it is imperative that we give quality time along with an appropriate environment to the child especially within the age group of 0-5 years of age since the brain of the child grows more during this period.

TO MUCH PAMPERING SPOILS THE CHILD

Then there is the question of bestowing adequate attention to a single child.  A few days back, I met a pampered-boy who was being given over-indulgence. This student did not want to go to the school for attending his classes – and became truant. The boy feigned pain in different parts of his body to attract attention as a pretext in order to avoid classes. He cried at the top of his voice while his parents brought him to school. The parents felt pity on their son and took him to their homes. This boy was taking his parents to ride with excuses.

This continued for some time till such time a notice was served on the parents for cancellation of his admission for bunking classes continuously. The parents had entrapped themselves in the web of their own creation. Here the parents felt defenseless. Undue and unreasonable adulation bordering spoiled this child. Then counseling session was undertaken under the care of a good psychologist to retrieve from the situation created by the parents. What character we expect our offspring would become if we resort to unduly pampering?

Doubtlessly, the parents have to play a significant role to shape the character of the child and this process starts from the early childhood itself.

Examples are many, but I shall quote a few where the parents played prominent role in molding the character:–

  • Hanuman’s mother names Anjani (who was the apsara in the palace of Indra had played a stellar role to mold the character of Hanumanji in the early period of his life. His father Kesari taught him the use of mace in the fights. His Bhakti could make difference in our lives as it gives the strength of conviction to us.
  • Jijabai, the mother of Shivaji played a prominent role in shaping the character of Shivaji from the early childhood itself which proved pivotal in future fights with the adversaries.
  • Father of Lakshmibhai, the Rani of Jhansi traveled to Jhansi with her for her education. At that time itself, she enjoyed friendship with Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope, her seniors in age. She was married to Raja of Jhansi when she was only 14. Her only son died who unfortunately died and adopted a son who could legally rule Jhansi. But the rulers agree on this adoption and legal heir thereof. They wanted to annex Jhansi. But Lakshmi Bhai, the Rani of Jhansi was determined to fight. For this purpose, she assembled her volunteer force including women. Without consideration of religion or caste affiliations joined to defend Jhansi. Although, these volunteer force could not defeat the might of the rulers, yet, Rani of Jhansi showed her determination to fight till the end. That is the quality of a true character.

HEREDITARY AND OTHERS FACTORS IN CHARACTER FACTOR

There are some characteristics which are hereditary in nature and there are the ones which are imbibed from our parents, peer group, schoolmates and teachers besides from the environment in which we are living. Our character is not built on the single factor, it is made on the varieties of factors.

OUR CHARACTER IS THE GIFT OF OUR CREATOR

It has been observed that those individuals who are inclined towards spiritualism are not swayed by the negativity; allurements of lust, greed, jealousy etc. These people remain immune to the ill-effects of environment like the lotus flower in the smelly mud.

By maintaining good character, one can be the beloved servant of ALLAH.  The Prophet said:

TRAITS OF IMPECCABLE CHARACTER

  • A man with good character transact his/her work with sincerity and keeps a healthy distance from the evil.

This is in line with the Biblical assertion: With good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.

  • He/she is not tempted by various allurements.
  • Adapts in the circumstance he or she is placed.
  • Never fears to take risks as he considers failure as a stepping stone for success.
  • He is having a healthy balance – both in happy and not so happy situations.
  • He/she is flexible in his attitude Tries to flow the current but when pushed against the wall, makes his/her own way to extricate himself/herself.
  • Promises ones made are made good by a person with sound character.
  • He/she leads a simple life – ego does not touch such a person.
  • The flawless character becomes an example for others to follow. 
  • The character is an essential pre-requisite for any individual. It has rightly been said by Billy Graham: When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost something is lost, when the character is everything is lost.
  • A man of character is not judgemental.

Conclusively, it could rightly be said that a good character is not formed so easily, it is made brick by brick, slowly but surely, by observing the righteous principles and norms of behavior observed by the society as a whole. It should also be remembered that character ones tarnished cannot be easily salvaged..

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20 thoughts on “SIGNIFICANCE OF CHARACTER IN OUR LIVES

  1. The character once made has to be maintained and assiduously protected lest it is affected by the outer influences. Do read this blog and offer your comments. I love your comments and get inspiration and sustenance. Regards

  2. Good mornind dear Harbans and thanks for this flawless analysis of what ” character” really is. I loved the quote of Abraham Lincoln. So you studied the Bible too? Thank you again from a grateful reader. The importance of failure cannot be overestimated as I have discussed in my blog titled ” The virtues of failure” where I review the homonymous book by French bestseller author Charles Pepin.
    Arrivederci!

    1. GOOD MORNING. I thank you for appraising my write-up in its entirety and offering yours in comments. Really motivating. I have, in my life seen people losing themselves, losing their character while following a way of way fraught with negativism, without even thinking what they are doing, thus tarnishing their image just in a jiffy – a character which they had formed over a period of time. I do have Holy Bible, Holy Quran, Bhagwad Gita, Guru Granth Sahib including all the scriptural knowledge which I get during my discourses and in the religious congregations. All these have helped me in forming a firm opinion that ALL THE SCRIPTURES lead us to a SINGLE SOURCE. I again thank you for your comments. Regards; HARBANS

    1. Good afternoon to you as well: Wishing you and your nears and dears MERRY CHRISTMAS. & HAPPY NEW YEAR. I shall be publishing a write up on CHRISTMAS. Kindly read it.

  3. Wow, this is a fascinating, in depth post on character wonderfully written and researched. I learned so much from reading this it was read twice and bookmarked. This is such a great daily affirmation to use and memorize, and lends premium fuel to add to the work in progress that is self improvement. I’m going to be using these

    That Abraham Lincoln quote (one of my idols next to my Grandpa Bud) I have heard of before, but only the first line of it, the rest of it is even better. Abe Lincoln was an amazing man, self teaching through books in his tiny log cabin, someone everyone could aspire to be more like.

    That quote reminds me of another quote, “reputation is what others think of you, character is who you are,” which I’ve found strength in when dealing with friends and one family member in particular that fit’s the “black-spot” marking’s to a T, who who has much “Karmic debt,” so much I wonder if reedemability is possible (I’d like to think so and am rooting for him,) and hasn’t painted others in a fair light, even though we’ve dealt with the cleanup as a result of his many extremly negative actions (particularly me of the life altering variety). He’s caused much destruction which know one will never know, but even more disheartening is that those that know some of it, have instead choose to craft a story so that my past avoidance and resentment of him, and their excusement of it appears to only be a me problem, which is partially true, but the larger truth often being ignored, or mostly not known because the reality of it has been kept inside to protect them, and him, knowing that exposing the truth may cause greatly harm to their reputation, (and his) health as well as the family dynamic, and others safety potentially, at least in the past. Ive been bitter and regretful about how that’s played out in the past, not only towards him, but the otherwise good people who have sanctioned it, and though I’ve long since forgiven him and them, if not for them, for myself, it’s a continued test of will when the the false narrative and manipulation is repeated, and nothing is learned it still gets under the ever thickening skin sometimes, which to be fair used to be thin. Particularly when I see one member of the family be repeatedly manipulated and fall for the same simple tricks of manipulation and acts of extremely low character, I point out the manipulation, which should be obvious by now, as the script is always the same, but in return I’ve been painted as the bad guy and critic in the moment I’m doing it, and then even worse, when Im not around the criticism is always ascribed as being a me issue, which is hurtful to the heart and the reputation. Not that I am not without many faults, but I can’t not speak out when someone is being so obviously manipulated, used or taken advantage of because of their weakness, kindness, and/or inability to say no due to emotional, instead of logical reasoning. It’s been a blessing though as I see now it’s been a great growing and learning experience, and I’m at a point in my life where I’m thankful for it now, because the bad experiences have led to self reflection, and character growth that likely would have not happened otherwise, and also the positive knowledge of how I can help others in similar situations, as well as being less judgmental, less selfish, as well as less of a critic, which I have been guilty of in the past.

    I’ve come to the realization more so in the past month, how much these experiences have embittered me and encouraged self isolation, which has led to avoiding, eliminating or weakening all of my personal relationships, except for my younger brother, and two friends, who were the only people I was 100% sure that didn’t have personal motives, and were the only people who I could trust, which also led to avoiding forming any new relationships, as well as letting go of old ones, by not answering or making phone calls, or making excuses to not get together with friends and family, which I always end up feeling bad about, and still regret. During all this I convinced myself I was the better man because I didn’t hold hate in my heart for anyone, even if they had wronged me in some way, big or small. I just figured if I kept to myself and the few people I trusted the disappointment wouldn’t continue, or at least when it did I would know what to expect. Since I decided not to dislike anyone (couldn’t give them any power) I made the decision that I either was neutral towards someone or liked them, convincing myself I was very Zen and would work only on myself, because I didn’t believe in anyone else, in the process confining myself to a very small self created world that was mostly confined to exercise, work, book reading, and animals, particularly dogs, as they only have love and loyalty in their heart. The social anxiety doesn’t help either, but if I actually worked on that I know it would improve, as it has in the past, (as it used to be debilitating) and just the past few weeks through making the attempt it’s improved, along with a more positive mindset towards being open to others without assumptions of their motives.

    I’ve painted a poor picture of myself, I’d like to add I’m still a mostly positive thinker, and optimist in most things, always very nice to strangers, opening doors for people, saying please and thank you, helping when nothing is expected in return, always being kind unless treated otherwise, but even then, not having lingering bitterness or hate-just adding them to my avoidance list. And I love more than anything to help people improve through personal training and positive nutrition changes, and watch the many postives that accompany it, but I haven’t always worked on my weaknesses, just enhanced the few strengths.

    In only the past week or so I’ve started the gradual process of trying to rebuild these damaged relationships, which isn’t always easy because I have the worry a lot of people would rather remind me of the failures of that past, not only to feel the false good that comes from that admonishment, but also the rightful bitterness that they carry, beause of the way I’ve carried myself. I’m going to make the attempt anyway, and if they don’t accept me for who I am aiming to become, then I’m going to empthasize, but move positively forward, and always accept them if they change their mind.

    I guess the point I am getting to, besides venting the above, which I’ve actually never done once aloud except in self reflection through talking to myself as I tried to work through it and see all the angles, is that everything you’ve written here is so valuable, and I see from these tips I’ve done a little bit of a lot of it, and a lot of a little bit of it, either by accident or being forced to, and it’s the best therapy to work through life’s obstacles, plus realizing that many have gone through the same, and often much worse, gives you strength to know the situations not unique, as there is shared strength in that. Hopefully we all go through some of these obstacles, to a varying degree for spiritual expansion, and to encourage (or force) personal growth.

    Mostly through reading through this, I see so many tools that can be added to the implementation of a more positive mental outlook and verbal interaction moving forward.

    Lastly the part about reducing the ego (we can probably never completely eliminate it, or maybe that’s just me) has been the most positive growth experience that ever happened when looking back on positive life changes.

    Eating crow and humble pie in the moment you’re doing it is never easy, as you try to choke it down, but the more constructive criticism feathers you consume, whether by yourself or forced down from others, the higher the spirit can potentially fly.

    1. My sincere thanks for going through the blog in its entirety and offering your invaluable comments. There are people who influence us and make us think, if they could, why not we. Abe Lincoln has left an indelible imprint on our psyche.

      Sir, we can redeem from the time a thought creeps in our mind that we want to change. Karmic debt could be changed to Karmic credit thus we escape from: ‘action and reaction equal and opposite’. There are the people who will always be averse to our interests but these sort of people should be confronted with truth and if that too does not work then it is better to accept that such people do not exist at all; should be forgotten and forgiven so that our Omnipotent and Omniscient One comes into play. Bad guys are always there which all come across in life but how we tackle them remains with us. While ‘reputation’ is alright but it would not be given more credence as reputation could be build with our sincere efforts but our character is tested when we remain resolute in our efforts to transact day to day without taking the irritants to heart but should be tackled by application of our brain only. It is because what we take to our heart will affect sub-conscious and nun-conscious mind. Our personal relationship with others should be based on ‘two way traffic’. If you want to maintain your relations with others but others just spurn our sincere efforts then only alternative left with us is to make our LORD our real friend and proceed further.

      Mostly through reading through this, I see so many tools that can be added to the implementation of a more positive mental outlook and verbal interaction moving forward.
      Lastly the part about reducing the ego (we can probably never completely eliminate it, or maybe that’s just me) has been the most positive growth experience that ever happened when looking back on positive life changes.

      Positive oriented in our thoughts and deeds certainly prove to good for us.

      1. So well said, thanks for the thoughful response! I’m looking forward to your content in the future, as well as looking at your past posts. You’ve provided some incredibly wise tools to use to craft a more positive outlook, as well as making it easy to read with interesting/fascinating history behind the thought process. Can’t thank you or salute enough, and I truly appreciate your feedback on how to better deal with those kind of personal relationships, I will be using that, and now I’m motivated to go to that church one of these Sundays for a service, because beng surrounded by this type of positivity cannot be anything but a positive. Keep up the great work, I wish you gave sermons nearby, I would attend every Sunday.

      2. It would be my pleasure to assist in whatever way I can so as to bring about positive transformation. In this scheme of things belief in ourselves and belief in our Lord are of paramount important. It should also be kept in mind that even the Incarnations of God; may it be Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Prophet Mohmmad, Guru Nanak Dev Ji and others suffered at the hands of power that be during those times; we are mere humans. Our problems are merely of temporary nature and could be obliterated when we share those problems with our Creator. Start going to Church regularly and see how much our Lord helps you. He is OMNIPOTENT AND OMNOSCIENT; you need not even tell your state of your being because He knows everything. HARBANS

  4. It would be my pleasure to assist in whatever way I can so as to bring about positive transformation. In this scheme of things belief in ourselves and belief in our Lord are of paramount importance. It should also be kept in mind that even the Incarnations of God; may it be Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Prophet Mohammad, Guru Nanak Dev Ji and others suffered at the hands of the power that be during those times; we are mere humans. Our problems are mere of temporary nature and could be obliterated when we share those problems with our Creator. Start going to Church regularly and see how much our Lord helps you. He is OMNIPOTENT AND OMNISCIENT; you need not even tell your state of your being because He knows everything. HARBANS

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