How Do You Define Character?

Kevin Mahoney

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#1
“Character is what closes the gap between knowing and doing. It aligns intentions and action.”

-John Maxwell

I came across the above quote this week and I thought it provided an informative definition of character. I have often heard character is defined by who we are when no one else is around. While there is a lot of truth to this, I prefer the Maxwell quote because it deals with an area where I can personally improve. That is, aligning what I wish to do and what I am actually doing. I feel that this is a challenge for the majority of people. Developing our character is a means to shorten the distance between “will do” and “am doing”.

Is character something that can be defined in one or two sentences? Are there any definitions of character that you find insightful?
 

Dennielle Lee

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#4
I do like the John Maxwell quote. It defines character as how we approach everyday aspects of our lives. Joining intention with action. Therefore the decisions we make and how we go about making them say a lot about our character. Would that mean that we could therefore change our character by improving our decision making processes?

I guess I would have to say that the core of one's character comes out during those difficult periods in life. Adversity not only builds character but puts one's character on display.
 
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#5
Great thoughts by every one here.

But some how i am not able to correlate it with the definition of character, may be my mistake in understanding.

For me character is is made up of moral values of prevalent society and measured by its "popularly acceptable" values. May be integrity or self-discipline is to "shorten the distance between “will do” and “am doing”. Isn't it? Sorry, i don't remember exact word for that.

When you say that a person have good character . What do you mean by that?

Often, i find it difficult to define " good character". May be there is no universal definition or may be its there.

Or may be i have fallen into trap laid down by Kevin to think more on this, with his thoughtful question. :)

Regards
 

Kevin Mahoney

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#6
Thanks for your responses Umach. I think you are ultimately correct, there is no universal definition. For me the simplest view is a person who practices the golden rule and treats others, or responsibilities, the way they would like others to do.
 

Sarah Carlson

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#7
'If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.' J.K. Rowling

For me that would be one of the truest ways to see the true character of a man/woman.
Equals will be treated with respect lest consequences go your way, however how do you treat people you consider "inferior" to you, who can't fight back and no-one will ever know?

To me, I like to see how people treat people and creatures that can't fight back, if they kick a dog or cat just because they can I'd be careful letting my guard down around them.
Character is not who you appear to be, it is who you are when no-one is looking.
That's my definition :)