Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others, only to discover we have made a difference in our own.
Ellie Braun-Haley

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InspirEmail No 253 - March 18th, 2013 - The Nature of Character
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'


The Nature of Character

Abraham Lincoln was very concerned with character, but he was also aware of the importance of having a good reputation. He explained the difference this way - 'Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.'

Put another way, your reputation is what people think of you. Your character is what you actually are.

In a world preoccupied with image, it's easy to worry too much about our reputation and too little about our character. Building a reputation is largely a public-relations project; building character requires us to focus on our values and actions. Noble rhetoric and good intentions aren't enough.

What we're looking for is moral strength based on ethical principles. Character is revealed by actions, not words, especially when there's a gap between what we want to do and what we should do and when doing the right thing costs more than we want to pay.

Our character is revealed by how we deal with pressures and temptations. But it's also disclosed by everyday actions, including what we say and do when we think no one is looking and we won't get caught.

The way we treat people we think can't help or hurt us (like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries), tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. People who are honest, kind, and fair only when there's something to gain shouldn't be confused with people of real character who demonstrate these qualities habitually, under all circumstances.

Character is not a fancy coat we put on for show. It's who we really are.

Written by Michael Josephson
To learn more about the work of Michael Josephson, please visit . . . Character Counts >>>

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It Takes Courage

It takes strength to be firm and it takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer and it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain and it takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in and it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain and it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse and it takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone and it takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love and it takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive and it takes courage to live.

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- Inspirational Quote -

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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