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..