Character by Maggie Frank

Character.  It is a word not used as often as it was even just 10 years ago.  But, what a need there is for people with character.  We are constantly defined by our character.  It is our attitude when we are approached for doing something wrong.  It is our spoken and unspoken attitude  toward the teacher when we get another assignment when we already have a full load.  It is what we say or don’t say when we see someone in need of help or to have someone come alongside them.

Your personality and character are always going to be challenged. There is always the chance of criticism when you decide to act in a way that shows the world what your principles for life are.  However, there will always be a moment of reflection that you look back on your actions and either are pleased with your actions, or find frustration with yourself for what you did or didn’t do.  If you are not excited with the outcomes you are seeing, let’s take a second to consider two thoughts.

First, do you have values, principles, likes and dislikes that you are willing to stand for?  Being open and vulnerable is never easy for us.  However, having something that you feel strong about, that you know others may have a different view on, is always hard to stand for.  But, if you take a second to consider that reflective moment you will end up having, will you be glad you stood for your principals and values, or will you be upset with yourself for not standing for what you knew you should have.

Second, what do you continue to learn about when it comes to others?  What you need to consider with this, is that as time continues going on, we continue to face things and are constantly choosing how we feel about these things that are happening.  But, what we don’t always consider is that we make decisions based off of what we have learned and done before.  If we are not challenging our thoughts to learn and understand the things we question or are not certain of, we will continue to accept them and do what we have always done without hesitation.  We need to learn about others, get to know and understand the hazy areas we don’t get, not for the point of straight our accepting, but for the point of knowing your view because you have looked into it and know based off your values what you now think.

Consider that your character is like a living plant.  It will grow and develop based off what you feed into it.  Will you continue to pour into it your thoughts even if they are not in line with what you value?  Or will you live your life in action, word and thought, based off the values you take the time to know and understand.  Character may not be spoken of as much, but it is needed in order to make a positive difference in the world around you.