Character Or Personality?

Inspiration comes from many places. Today I heard a radio program on NPR that got me thinking. I can’t remember the name of the person who was being interviewed, but she was discussing her book about character.

In her interview she contrasted our past culture of character with our current cultural of personality. It was a very interesting perspective that made a lot of sense to me.

A culture of character is an overall civic behavior that is concerned with integrity. This integrity can be illustrated by what we do when we are alone. What TV programs do I watch when no one is watching. If someone gives me too much change what do I do? Do I keep the extra amount because it was their fault, or do I take the high road? In the old days, the majority of us would take the high road and do the right thing. That is what a culture of character was all about.

This behavior was expected in our leaders. They were to be individuals that behaved the same way alone as they did in front of others. They had a strong sense of right on wrong and chose to live with integrity rather than being phony. Gary Hart attempted to live like this by telling the media to follow his around, they will never see him make a mistake. Shortly thereafter we find him on a boat named Funny Business with a beautiful woman that wasn’t his wife sitting on his lap.

Now we come to our current culture, one of personality. It is not a culture of depth but one of superficiality and phoniness. Leaders in this culture have nice hair, pretty teeth, and tells us what we want to hear. They raise millions of dollars for a campaign, promising us the world, but never follow through on anything. This culture of personality is more concerned with how we look, than how we live.

It seems like we have cheapened who we are and what we stand for.

And that is my short thought for the day!


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