Character

According to Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary (Unabridged, Second Edition) there are 16 definitions of character; I will list those relevant here:

7. an individual’s pattern of behavior or personality; moral constitution; 8. moral strength, self-discipline, fortitude, etc.; 9. reputation; 12. a statement about the behavior, qualities, etc. of a person; recommendation.

What character does is earn or lose trust. Trust is the basis of all successful relationships. And, in many ways, with human beings, relationships are everything. Trust is the fundamental ingredient that makes ongoing personal, familial, community, commercial and social transactions possible. Without trust — the reasonable belief that one will act in accordance with their words — little is possible.

Lack of trust, or a low level of trust, is a sort of tax, a form of friction that slows down (or stops dead) the free flow of life. With trust though, there is a smoothness and flow to life that allows much more to be accomplished.

So, if trust is fundamental to all aspects of life, and (good) character is the basis of trust, then we must look long and hard at our character. Does our pattern of behavior serve the development and deepening of trust? If not, changes are in order. Real, sometimes difficult, changes.

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