The Meaning of Character

What Is Character?

Abraham Lincoln Said This About Character…

Abraham Lincoln said, Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.

(Learn More About Abraham Lincoln)

Winston Churchill Said This About Character…

Winston Churchill said, “The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities.”

(Learn More About Winston Churchill)

What is “Character”?  Why is it so important?

Our character is much more than just our reputation.  Our reputation is what others to see about us.  Our character is who we really are, even when no one is watching. Having  “Good Character” means doing the right thing just because it is right to do what is right.

What Are The Dictionary Definitions of “Character”?  

One dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Another says it is “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person.” In still 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.

How Does Character Determine Success In Life?

Our Character Is What Determines How We Respond to the Situations and Circumstances of Life

The dictionary definitions said character is a “complex of mental and ethical traits“, that those traits, or qualities, are “distinctive to an individual” and that they 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 tends to be characterized by deceptiveness. Someone who has the character trait of alertness will be more likely to be a better, safer, driver than a person who does not see or recognize the potential dangers around him (carelessness). A person with the character quality of tolerance will be more accepting of others – less prejudiced.

Success or failure in any situation or endeavor depends, more than anything else, on how we respond to events and circumstances.  It follows that it is our character that determines our success.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that “good” people will always experience more “success” than “bad” people.  There are, however, some character traits that tend to lead to “success” and others that tend to produce “failure.”  The question is, “What are the “good” character qualities, and what are “bad” qualities?


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Next… Good Character and Bad Character



What Do You Think?

What is your opinion about the importance of character in life?

– “Can you really train for character? or is it set during childhood?”
– “Is character training important?”
– “Should character education be done in schools or at home?”
– “Is Character Training ‘Unbiblical’ as some claim?”
– “Is Character Training A Cult?”

Please join the conversation and let us know what you think by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and leaving a comment.

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85 Responses

  1. Diesel says:

    Character is as character does. Character can not be defined by words, it relies too heavily on the intangible substance of a person. Character is who we are in action.

  2. Raymond Rabo says:

    The word “CHARACTER” is a very elaborating subject. It is a unifying factor that reflects our mental and emotional response to situations, it’s quite different from reputation; what people think we are, realizing and developing our character will go a greater extent to determine to build the foundations of our destiny in life.

  3. I am creating a series on gratitude and came across your article while searching for resources about character. I am going to include a link to your article in the series. As I continue to find good information about character and the practical application of how to improve my own character, I discover that the foundation of character seems to be made up of how many of the virtues I am “doing.” I think the “doing” part of my life, that is, my choices…my actions…are in bed with my state of consciousness. I like the saying, ‘Established in Being, Perform Action.” In this case, being refers to the state of being awake inside your own awareness, and includes the “witness state” of awareness. It can also be called “mindfulness.” At any rate, the deliberate practice of virtue is helped by a steady and calm state of mind, even in the midst of dynamic activity and while under great stress. Thank you for your article. It is adding to the improvement of the world.

  4. Keisha Gushwa says:

    I enjoy reading through an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!|

  5. Dan sk says:

    “Character is the best of who you are, and bad of who you be” is a way you live/ react, negetively/positively.

  6. Thomas Emma says:

    Character is what we leave behind after we depart from a particular place.

    Character is not a gift, you can only develop it

  7. Thomas Emma says:

    I Like This

  8. Akshita says:

    Character is that by which you are liked by people and by it you get success in life

  9. Chommy says:

    Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual

  10. Chommy says:

    Character education should be done in school and home

    • Anita says:

      I agree. We should use a philosophy classes for example, to practice with children what good character is. And other subjects in schools are important too because every class has their own atmosphere from subject to subject and in different enviroment kids could training character.

  11. ManglaRam Bishnoie says:

    Character is What, When You are in DARK.

  12. Intelligent artists says:

    A Superb Post

  13. don watson says:

    Exvellent Character must come from a source that is impeccable & non-corruptable in order to be stable under various conditions..
    that points to a Faith in a perfect source.

  14. This article really brings to light the issues that people face on a day to day basis

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