For real power, be a person of character

“Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness.” John Howe defines character as:

1. The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. One such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. Moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. Reputation: a stain on one’s character.
Character, individuality, personality refer to the sum of the characteristics possessed by a person. Character refers especially to moral qualities, ethical standards, principles, and the like: a man of sterling character.

Your character is defined by the type of person you are and how you live your life. Being a person of good character means you have qualities that inspire trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. It means you act in a manner consistent with those qualities.

There is no amount of money that can hide a character defect. A person may hide behind an image of someone with character for a short period of time, but eventually, their true character comes to light.

Throughout history, people who’ve possessed qualities of good character have risen up from obscurity to become very powerful individuals or leaders.

Abraham Lincoln was one such person, who is remembered throughout history for his powerful character and using that power against great opposition to abolish slavery. Others who were chosen to lead because of their character include John F Kennedy, George Washington.

With enough money, a person can buy the appearance of power, in much the same way most of our elected officials got elected, but it doesn’t give them true power. With true power, which comes with people of character, mountains can be moved. How many people in power today can move mountains?

Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. moved mountains because of the type of character they were. No amount of money could do what these individuals were able to do merely by the force of who they were, defined by how they lived their life and molded into their character.

True power comes with good character. People will follow to the ends of the world someone with the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. That kind of power can’t be bought. The only way to obtain that kind of power is to earn it by being a person of good character.

When did we become a nation of haters?

“If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.” Woodrow Wilson

When did we become a nation of haters? The United States began as the nation of brotherly love. The United States of America represented equality for all. At one time, the United States of America stood for common decency towards all. The people and the government of the United States of America used to be the envy of the world. Something built to government specifications and standards meant unequaled quality and value.

What happened to the people? What happened to our government and elected leaders? What happened to government standards?

We’ve become a nation of haters. We hate the poor because they can’t fend for themselves. We hate the rich because they are successful. We hate the government because it’s become a den of corruption and infighting.

Government specifications and standards are meaningless now. Build whatever you want, someone in the government will buy it, regardless of how flimsy or overpriced it is, just as long as you make a contribution to their campaign.

We’ve become a nation obsessed with our own self preservation. We no longer care about anyone else, as long as we get our share. The rich want to get richer. The poor want more handouts. Those in between are either ignored or must sacrifice some more, so that the rich could get richer and the poor could get more handouts..

We devote ourselves to cultivating our own case. We fault the poor for being poor. We fault the ill for being ill. We fault the handicapped for being handicapped. We fault the rich for being successful. We fault the government for not doing enough. We fault the government for doing too much.

We look for others to fault, rather than looking to ourselves. We elect the leaders who don’t do enough. We elect the leaders who do too much. We’ve allowed ourselves to become disillusioned to the point where we don’t bother with elections anymore. Then we complain that we don’t have good leaders.

We’ve become selfish prigs. We’ve lost our character, our charm, our reputation. As long as we continue looking out for what’s in our best interest, rather than what’s in everyones best interest, or the nations best interest, we will never regain our character. We will never regain our reputation as the worlds greatest country, where all are treated equally and fairly. We will never again become the envy of the world.

Corporations forgot that it is both the customers and the workers who make them successful. Politicians forgot that they are elected to serve the people. Government agencies have become heartless robots that follow the letter of the law, no matter now cruel or inhumane.

No one has to go so far as to preach brotherly love. All we have to do is stop hating. All we have to do is show a little compassion for those less fortunate than we are. All we have to do is care about the health of this great nation. All we have to do is show a little bit of character.

Is that too much to ask? Is it too much to ask for people to say ‘I like this’, rather than ‘I hate that’. Is it too much to ask for our government and leaders to do something because it is the right thing to do, rather than doing what the campaign contributors want?

A role model for you and your kids, look no further than Kathy Ireland.

“If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance. Children must learn to identify the forms and content of those traits.” William J. Bennett

There are certain traits every person should have in order to live a happy, rewarding and contented life. The best time to develop those traits, such that they become second nature, is when growing up. A child is like a sponge and absorbs what is seen, heard, and taught.

A parents purpose in life is to be the perfect role model for their children. To hear a child say “I want to be like you” is the greatest compliment a parent can hear from a child.

Once children reach a certain age, the age where they begin looking for what makes them happy, they start thinking about their own dreams and aspirations. Some are content to continue following in the parents footsteps. Other teens have different aspirations, or have trouble finding the right one.

If taught the proper traits, those children will succeed no matter which path they follow. What are some of those traits? Honesty, integrity, confidence, fairness, generosity, and above all, a person of good character.

The best way to teach those traits to children is by having them yourself. The next best is to find a role model, with all of those traits and many more, like Kathy Ireland.

Kathy is the symbol of success, not because she is rich and well known. She is a success because she has all of the traits which every child needs to learn to live a happy, rewarding, and contented life.  Kathy became rich and well known because of the person she was, the person she still is.

If you want to find the perfect role model, for yourself, your teenagers, or your younger kids, look no further than Kathy Ireland.

Power makes people fear you, Character makes them love you

“No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character defines who you are. Reputations are built on character. Become a person of good character and doors will open for you. Become a person of bad character and no amount of money will repair your character.

When you damage your character, when you have no character, no identity, no reputation, becoming rich, famous or powerful will do nothing to repair the damage done to your reputation.

You can buy obedience, you can buy false affection, you can even buy false love. You can’t buy true love or admiration, those come with character. Damage your character and it will always be known and remembered.

Protect your character the way you would protect a priceless jewel. Money, fame and power may come and go, but your prized character will stay with you to your grave and beyond.

Be judged for the person you really are

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” Andre Gide

What this quote means is that it is better to be judged for the person you truly are, your inner self, your character, than for an image you portray to others. Creating an image to make people like you does not satisfy your inner self, since you are aware that they like the image, not the real you.

It is better to portray your inner self to everyone, your true character. Then you can make the judgement if you are happy with the love or hate you get. If you are comfortable with your self, with your character, then how others perceive you will become irrelevant. What is more important is how you perceive yourself, if you are comfortable with who you are.

You will always have an inner conflict if you create an outward image, a person you are not, in order to be loved. It will give you piece of mind to be honest with yourself.


Is it right rather than who is watching should be the question

“The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

What this quote means is the real person we, our character, are becomes apparent when we do things which we think no one will ever know. A person of high moral character would do the same things, regardless of being found out or not. A person of low moral character will do certain things, and act one way in public, but their true self, their true character will appear when they are in private, when they think what they are doing will not be found out. A person of low moral character would ask who is watching, before doing something.

The way to become a person of character is to act the same way in private as in public. Rather than asking who is watching, a person of character asks ‘is it right’.

Your true character

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What this quote means is that a person shows their true self when they are interacting with people who cannot help them in any way. There are those who are very cordial to those who can help them, then impatient and nasty to those who can’t do anything for them. That is their true character.