InspirEmail No 253 - March 18th, 2013 - The Nature of Character
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

The Nature of Character

Abraham Lincoln was very concerned with character, but he was also aware of the importance of having a good reputation. He explained the difference this way - 'Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.'

Put another way, your reputation is what people think of you. Your character is what you actually are.

In a world preoccupied with image, it's easy to worry too much about our reputation and too little about our character. Building a reputation is largely a public-relations project; building character requires us to focus on our values and actions. Noble rhetoric and good intentions aren't enough.

What we're looking for is moral strength based on ethical principles. Character is revealed by actions, not words, especially when there's a gap between what we want to do and what we should do and when doing the right thing costs more than we want to pay.

Our character is revealed by how we deal with pressures and temptations. But it's also disclosed by everyday actions, including what we say and do when we think no one is looking and we won't get caught.

The way we treat people we think can't help or hurt us (like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries), tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. People who are honest, kind, and fair only when there's something to gain shouldn't be confused with people of real character who demonstrate these qualities habitually, under all circumstances.

Character is not a fancy coat we put on for show. It's who we really are.

Written by Michael Josephson

Featured Positive Inspirational Story


Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter ask for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions and for that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed . . . read more >>>

It Takes Courage

It takes strength to be firm and it takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer and it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain and it takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in and it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain and it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse and it takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone and it takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love and it takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive and it takes courage to live.

Author Unknown

- Inspirational Quote -

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

View more Inspirational Quotes >>>

Archived InspirEmail

Top of page


Monthly positive inspirational story and quote to refresh your spirit and boost the emotional bank account

Free Subscription

View the latest issue of InspirEmail

Positive Inspirational Images
Positive Inspirational Stories
Positive Inspirational Quotes