What is Character?

What is Character?Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Our character is not just what we try to display for others to see, it is who we are even when no one is watching. Good character is doing the right thing because it is right to do what is right.

What is character? One dictionary defines character as “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person.” In another dictionary, character is said to be “the stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determine his or her response regardless of circumstances.”

The dictionary definitions said character is a “complex of mental and ethical traits” and that those traits, or qualities, are “built into an individual’s life.” It is those character qualities, those character traits, that determine a person’s response in any given situation.
For example, a person in with a strong character quality of truthfulness is much more likely to accurately report the facts in a given situation than a person who is not a truthful person.

Everyone has character. People sometimes think of character as something a person either has or doesn’t have. They may say, “He has character,” meaning he has good character. We intuitively recognize the truth that everyone has “character” and we distinguish between “good” and “bad” character.

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