The Role of Spirituality in Character
Spirituality and self-esteem play major roles in character development. They are the road maps that guide you as you act and move with others in the world. People with strong spiritual beliefs understand and practice the deep convictions of character. It has been said, “character is who you are when no one is looking.”
Character can also be described as how we act when there are no policies and guidelines for behavior. If you were able to treat anyone any way without any culpability or responsibility, how would you respond? If you could do what you wanted to do with that person who just cut you off on the interstate, what would you do? If you could say anything to that nasty person at work, what would you say? If you could get your hands on the person who stole your wallet and then your identity, what would you do to them?
You character is the guiding force for how you act, and your character is a direct product of your spirituality and spiritual nature.
Almost every person can point to someone they personally know and suggest that his or her character is less than sterling. Is it the person who steals from work? Is it the person who cheats on his or her spouse? Is it the person who can never be trusted with anything? What causes you to look at people and label them “bad characters”?
It is generally held that people with flawed character are people who make decisions based solely on how the outcome affects them. People with flawed character can't be trusted with secrets and fail to keep their word and their promises.
They are people who do not tell the truth and who continually backstab others to get ahead. They are people who bend the truth or cover parts of the truth to get what they want or need without consideration for others' wants or needs.
People with flawed character tend to have an egotistical view of the world. They see it only through their eyes. They make decisions, rules, and design courses of action based on a myopic view of the universe.
A Person of Character
What are the qualities of a person with strong character? Who is a person in your own life that you perceive as having virtuous ethics and character? Most people would say that a person of character is trustworthy, someone whom you can rely on in times of need and times of joy. A person of character is someone who is respectful of others, their values, their customs, and their traditions.
A person of character is someone who always accepts responsibility for his or her actions. Such a person does not place blame on others and he or she does not take the glory from others. A person of character acts in a fair and equitable fashion toward everyone, and he or she does not single out individuals or groups of people and treat them differently.
“Good character consists of knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good habits of the mind, habits of the heart, and habits of action.”
— Thomas Lickona
A person of character is open-minded and willing to listen to every side of the story and understands that every story has two or more sides. A person of character is a good citizen in the world and understands his or her role in the progression of humankind.
Character is one of the most monumental forces in building healthy self-esteem. When you know beyond doubt that your actions, and indeed your life, are guided by moral and ethical standards, you can't help but have a sense of pride in your own life.