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The True Meaning of Character

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Ring! Ring! Ring! The sirens are what you hear go off when a bank is robbed. Usually, a burglar is caught stealing money. What do his actions say about his character? People might judge it as poor character, but the burglar could simply be desperate for getting money for his family that is striving to survive. “The word, character, can be complicated to break down. This word tends to be misunderstood throughout everyday life. Character is abused by certain actions, thoughts, and words. What is a person like when no is looking? The word character can also pertain to the set of different qualities that people attain either when they are alone or the way they act around others. Clark Kent from Superman, what you do in tricky situations, and who one truly is, can be unrolled as one word. Character.
Movies, plays, and TV shows are shown all around the world. In every single movie, TV show, or play there is at least one character present. Other characters are evil, some innocent. Sometimes character is played off as someone at a masquerade. Meaning, that the person who plays the character’s part may be someone completely different physically, mentally, and spiritually than what is shown on the screen or stage. It could also be given as an opportunity to play a part that one wishes they could be in reality. This is where the meaning of character is misused. Playing the role of a character is another way to express one’s self. So in other words, character can be a way in which someone acts upon and is given the chance to make a statement through acting skills. Through acting and social skills, individual character can be proposed during any ordinary day such as a school day.
Throughout the many years of our school education, we are constantly hearing about the word, character. Our principals repeat it at assemblies over and over again. We are informed that character is what other people think of us based only upon our actions. Character is like a first impression on the first day of school. The down side is that people judge someone’s character by appearance. Abraham Lincoln puts it this way, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” In Abraham’s opinion, character is more important than the “looks.” The shadow of the tree may look quite tiny and scrawny, but the tree itself could actually be massive and filled with scrumptious, ripened fruit. Mark Twain says, “A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.” Mark’s feeling for this word differs from how Lincoln views it. Twain thinks that a person is only truly himself when he is intoxicated with alcohol. Alcohol should not be an indicator as to what someone’s personality is like. It is understandable that alcohol can make someone act differently, but the result should not be defined as their true character. Instead, choosing to drink the alcohol should be the definition of poor character and wrong choices; the results should be known as stupidity. Numerous times, people act one way towards their friends. Towards their family, it flips around. Usually one acts as an angel sent from above while with friends, then a complete monster when it comes to cleaning the cat litter at home. Character is not meant to have two sides. On the bright side, now days, someone is usually judged not by color, race, or religion, but by the content of their character.
What does someone choose to do when no one is around? Dwight L. Moody says, “Character is what a man is in the dark.”A choice is given. It can be a choice of showing responsibility or immaturity. Character is an action chosen in pressured situations. Character is an opportunity to act upon when one is given the chance to lie. Obstacles are thrown out to us, and the decisions that we choose to make, are what truly defines our character. The main idea comes out to be this; the choices that are made, do not always have to be noticed by people who are around us. The whole point of character is who someone REALLY is when NO BODY is watching. It may feel nice to be of great character when someone is looking, but what the point is if the person himself is not satisfied. Thomas Paine looks at it this way, “Character is not what men and women think of us, but instead of what God and the angels up above know of us.” In Paine’s opinion, God and his angels are the head honchos of what character really is.
Character remains a highly controversial word still to this day. I used to think character meant how you acted at school or in front of authority. Guest speakers were always reminding us that our character is what makes a difference in our society today. They always said character is how we treat our peers, our teachers, and our community. In the end, the word character will always be questioned and opinionated. It may have different meanings listed in the dictionary, but only one makes the most sense. Character is not reputation. Character is not what is thought by others. Character is who someone chooses to be when the only person watching is God.



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