While food is great for the stomach, it’s not the only kind of nourishment that we need. Recently, I’ve been paying particular attention to people and reflecting on their behaviors. Perhaps you didn’t know that observing people and psychoanalyzing them are two mandatory criteria for being an author. It might be one of my favorite past-times: trying to figure out why people do the things that they do.
And trust me…in today’s world, people do some interesting things.
For today, however, I want to focus on good character.
The dictionary defines the word character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”
I really like that definition. It holds the individual accountable for both thought and deed. Usually, we tend to think that it is what a person does that demonstrates good character. However, according to this definition, it is also what a person thinks…the ulterior or underlying motives behind a specific behavior.
In my upcoming book, The Matchmaker, Emma is a strong personality. She demonstrates good intentions and superior morals. Yet, she often finds herself in the center of the storm, so to speak. Her ulterior motives are to help people find love and happiness, even when her attempts to do so fail. That doesn’t decrease her character; it just makes her human. And when she fails, she takes full responsibility for her mistakes.
To me, the perfect demonstration of good moral character is someone who admits their mistakes and takes responsibility for them. Emma is such a person.
Sometimes in life, it’s not what you do, but what you do NOT do that defines your character. Do you take responsibility? Do you avoid conspicuous consumption? Do you follow through on your promises? Do you help those in need? Are you loyal to commitments? Are you loyal to your faith?
The bottom line is that no one else can make a person have good or bad character. Remember that it is up to the person to demonstrate both qualities.