Character Matters

Character-Matters dan skognes leadership development trainer coach consultant motivation blogger speaker

Would you consider yourself to be a person of character?  Most people would probably say yes to that question, but I think that the sad matter of fact is that many people suffer from a lack of character.  Our character is who we are when no one is watching or listening, when there is no chance of getting “caught.”  What we do behind closed doors reveals our character.

I would like to think that I have a high moral character, but I know I am flawed.  I have to constantly battle with the choice of taking the easy way out, cutting corners, telling the little white lies.  Am I the only one that battles this?  I think not.  This is an epidemic that affects everyone on the planet.

We all have choices to make daily.  Those choices define who we are….and what is the depth of our character.  You have probably thought this about someone you know, “They are so shallow.”  Or you might have thought, “That is a true man of character.”  What is the difference?  What they do, say, believe, and live reflects their heart, and who they really are.

At our core is either a person that reflects truth, humility, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, life, and love, or it reflects greed, pride, selfishness, anger, resentment, cruelty, hate, and death.  I don’t think anyone actually wants to be in the second category, so how does that happen?  How does someone get so deluded in their thinking?

We have all known people who believe that evil is good, black is white, darkness is light. I call this the “Great Deception.”  Think about it, if we can be convinced  that evil is good, good is evil, black is white, white is black, dark is light, and light is dark….then the truth becomes the lie, and lie becomes the truth.  Evil wins, we lose.

If we have bought into the Great Deception and live our lives in that cloud, we have missed the very point of our existence.  Character does matter.  Our word is our bond.  Truth is truth….always.  Lies are lies….always.  They can never be entwined.  We have been taught not to swear.  We should let our yes be yes, and our no be no.  Why should we do that?  I believe it is because if we have character, if we are people of light and truth, then our word is sufficient.

There is a famous line in the movie, A Few Good Men.  Jack Nicholson is on the stand, being cross examined by Tom Cruise.  Tom knows that Jack is guilty, but he has to really push him emotionally to get him to admit what happened in a criminal case that he was part of.  Finally, Jack explodes with “You can’t handle the truth!”  He then goes on a several minute tirade about how he and the military are fully justified in breaking the law to keep our freedom safe.  Wow.  Talk about a pivotal moment.  When Jack finished with his rant, he felt better.  He thought he had cleared the air and is ready to get back on his jet and return to work.  Unfortunately, he just hung himself.  When the truth was revealed, his flawed character stripped bare, he ended up in custody.  Ultimately, character always matters.  Truth eventually comes out.

So, when you examine yourself, are you a person of character?  Can you handle the truth about yourself?  Do you truly understand and embrace truth and light? There is a difference between someone saying you are a real character vs. a person of character.  Choose to be the latter.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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