“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the definitions that Webster gives to the word character is “moral excellence and firmness.” At times I feel like all of America has forgotten the notion of moral and ethics. I have met so many people in life that have little of not character to speak of. We should all have a sense of what is right and wrong and stick to it.
Something that helps build character is environment. If we grow up in an environment where it is ok to swear for example, it is likely that we are going to continue that behavior. I know for a period of time I was with a group of friends that dropped an f-bomb a minute and I picked that habit right up. It did not help that Beavis and Butt Head taught me a lot of the English I know. I have toned down the use of the word but it still slips out once in a while.
I have been talking with one of my friends about what makes us up, what is it that we are all about, what makes someone whole. Along with morals, honesty and beliefs I think character is one of the most important characteristics on an individual’s personality. Emerson’s quote really strikes a cord and almost defines the word character for me.
I believe I get a lot of character from my Grandfather. He used to always remind me that everything in life can be taken away from you except knowledge. He always instilled in me the notion of how important education and the gathering of knowledge was. Next week I will start practicing martial arts again in a regular basis as well as relearning French. I think it is important for me to use my time in a constructive manner and fortify all of who I am. If I ever feel like half of the man that my Grandfather was, I would feel truly accomplished. Every time I think of him I think of character, he always stood firmly behind everything he believed.