character 2 - virtue - ethics   

Quotes for
the Journey:

Character



Happiness is not the end
of life; character is.

Henry Ward Beecher

   

Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige.  It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.      -William Ward

   

Seek out that particular mental attitude which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it.       -William James

   

If you would be interesting, be interested;
if you would be pleased, be pleasing;
if you would be loved, be lovable;
if you would be helped, be helpful.

unattributed

   

There are three types of people that all ought to look upon with affection:  those that with affection look at the face of the earth, that are delighted with rational works of art, and that look lovingly on little children.      -unattributed

   

I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do.  That is character.       -Theodore Roosevelt

    
Resolve to be thyself; and know that we who finds ourselves, lose our misery.       -Matthew Arnold

You may be good, but what are you good for?  You've got to be good for something.  You've got to be about some project, some task that requires you to be humble and obedient to the universal principles of service. You've got to live a life of complete and total integrity in order to give this kind of service.  This integrity enables you to love other people unconditionally, to be courageous and kind at the same time, because you have integratedness inside your own soul.       -

Stephen Covey

   

We should know what our convictions are, and stand for them.  Upon one's own philosophy, conscious or unconscious, depends one's ultimate interpretation of facts.  Therefore it is wise to be as clear as possible about one's subjective principals.  As we are, so will be our ultimate truth.       -Carl Jung

   

What we are contributes much more to our happiness than what we have. . . . What we are in ourselves, what accompanies us when we are alone, what no one can give us or take away, is obviously more essential to us than everything we have in the way of possessions, or even what we may be in the eyes of the world.       -Arthur Schopenhauer

    

A noble heart, like the sun, showeth its greatest countenance in its lowest estate.      -Philip Sydney

   

Live your life while you have it.  Life is a splendid gift.  There is nothing small in it.  For the greatest things grow by God's Law out of the smallest.  But to live your life you must discipline it.  You must not fritter it away in "fair purpose, erring act, inconstant will" but make your thoughts, your acts, all work to the same end and that end, not self but God.  That is what we call character.       -Florence Nightingale

   

Character:  the grandest thing in the world.      -Orison Swett Marden

   

I still remain convinced that truth, love, peaceableness, meekness, and kindness are the violence which can master all other violence.  The world will be theirs as soon as ever a sufficient number of people with purity of heart, with strength, and with perseverance think and live out the thoughts of love and truth, of meekness and peaceableness.        -Albert Schweitzer

   

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and the angels know of us.       -Thomas Paine

   

The wisest person could ask no more of Fate
Than to be simple, modest, brave, true,
Safe from the many, honored by the few;
To count as naught in world, or church, or state;
But inwardly in secret to be great.

James Russell Lowell

character 2 - virtue - ethics

Character, not circumstances, make the person.      -Booker T. Washington

   

   
I am not bound to win but I am bound to be true.  I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live up to what light I have.  I must stand with anybody that stands right; stand with them while they are right and part with them when they go wrong.        -Abraham Lincoln
   
A Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Robert Frost
   
   
It is my custom every night, so soon as the candle is out, to run over the words and actions of the past day; and I let nothing escape me, for why should I fear the sight of my errors when I can admonish and forgive myself?
   I was a little too hot in such a dispute; my opinion might well have been withheld, for it gave offense and did no good.  The thing was true; but truths are not to be spoken at all times.  I would I had held my tongue, for there is no contending, either with fools or with our superiors.  I have done ill, but it shall be so no more.
   Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.       -Horace Mann
   
Integrity is the first step to true greatness.  People love to praise, but are slow to practice it.  To maintain it in high places costs self-denial; in all places it is liable to opposition, but its end is glorious, and the universe will yet do it homage.        -Charles Simmons
    
The real difference between people is energy.  A strong will, a settled purpose, an invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in this lies the distinction between great people and little people.       -Thomas Fuller
   
There is too little idea of personal responsibility; too much of "the world owes me a living," forgetting that if the world does owe you a living, you must be your own collector.       -Theodore N. Vail
  

   
If I'm to have a character that others admire, I need to focus on developing that character.   I need to make decisions that are honorable and honest.  I need to focus on others rather than myself.  I need to be consistent in my dealings with other (while being careful to avoid what Emerson called "a foolish consistency").  And I must be true to myself, my God, and others.  I should never seek the admiration of others, but if I develop an honest, loving, caring character, the admiration will come.       -Tom Walsh
    
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.       -Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    

Creating Your Character is Like an Artist Creating a Sculpture
Jim Rohn

Could creating your character be likened to an artist creating a sculpture?  I believe that character is not something that just happens by itself, any more than a chisel can create a work of art without the hand of an artist guiding it.  In both instances, a conscious decision for a specific outcome has been made.  A conscious process is at work.  Character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are, at any given moment, into who you want to be.  If that decision-making process is not present, you will still be somebody. You will still be alive, but may have a personality rather than a character.

Character is not something you were born with and can't change like your fingerprint.  In fact, because you weren't born with it, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating.  I don't believe that adversity by itself builds character and I certainly don't think that success erodes it.  Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life, whether it's winning every game or losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times.

You build character out of certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself, just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood and build a campfire.  You've got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut.  You've got to chisel away in order to find them, just like chiseling away the rock in order to create the sculpture that has previously existed only in your imagination.

But do you want to know the really amazing thing about character?  If you are sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you'll not only create those qualities, but you'll continually strengthen them.  And you will recreate them in abundance even as you are drawing on them every day of your life.  Just like the burning bush in the biblical book of Exodus, the bush burned but the flames did not consume it.  Character sustains itself and nurtures itself even as it is being put to work, tested, and challenged.  And once character is formed, it will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you desire.


Reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine.

   
The Village Blacksmith
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

     

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling,--rejoicing,--sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.

   

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character 2 - virtue - ethics   

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