Building Character - Playing by the Rules

10:00:00 PM

In the last post, we began with the subject of character. The character of a person is often not what we see on the outside but what we cannot see on the inside.

In the fast paced society that we live in today, character is often overlooked. Although we may want character in every person that we meet or know; we don't usually emphasize it. Think about it; be it a company, recruiting agency, college or even when it comes to a matrimonial, while selecting the right candidate; character is usually the last thing we look for. The emphasis has always been on an individual's accomplishments over their character.

When we look at a person, more often or not we look at him or her in light of what they have accomplished. We respect & honour them for it. It's no surprise as to why many people today gain respect and security in their accomplishments!

J.C. Watts has said, "Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught."

Our society has often emphasized on accomplishment over character; because of which people have become more result oriented over their character. "It doesn't matter how you get it as long as you get it." is the motto on which many people live by today.

A friend of mine had told me that once in his company, he was asked to finalize a business deal with a lady manager even if it meant for him to flaw out his moral character! People have become so goal and result oriented that they are willing to pay any price to get it!

So why do so many people go for accomplishment over character? I believe one of the reasons is being, it is accomplishment that is rewarded and not character. If one brings in results then he or she is rewarded publicly and there is a sense of fulfillment that is achieved.

In his book, "When the Game is Over...” author John Ortberg observes, "We have words for people who achieve victory: winners, champions. We don't have a word for people who honor the rules; rules bring us to the issue of character."

I have a question; what about us? Haven't we chased accomplishments so much that many times, we have overlooked our own character? In how many situations have we have told ourselves and believed that, 'no one's going to know'. We have all been in places where we could have winged it and gotten away!

Dr. John C. Maxwell says, "A little white lie is still a lie. Theft is theft-whether it's $1, $1,000, or $1 million. Integrity commits itself to character over personal gain, to people over things, to service over power, to principle over convenience, to the long view over the immediate."

I want to close this post asking all of us a question, something to ponder about, "Who are we when no one is looking?"

Are we the same people in the dark as we are in the light? And how do we maintain character in a society like ours that considers and rewards accomplishments a lot more?

Will see that in the next post.

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