What is the true character of a person?
Defining the true character of a person
It is said that the character is defined by our actions in which we mean to be unobserved. I think this is an enlightening thought.
The two faces
Each of us has a public and a private face.
There are details of us that no one should know. In general, we tend to hide those aspects that society considers reprehensible and undesirable. Greed, lust, jealousy, pettiness, arrogance, selfishness, unscrupulousness, fear and so on. We also tend to hide our weaknesses. Nobody needs to know that we can devour a whole family pack of ice cream in an hour, right?
The hidden character
I think most people are “good”, decent, loving, compassionate and friendly, deep in their inner core. However, even those whom we perceive as good people can be capable of doing incredible things. How many times have you heard that a family member or friend of a convicted murderer said, “I just can not believe he could do that. It is so unlike him. “The killer projected an identity into the world, while secretly he was a completely different person.
Certainly, most of us are fortunately no killers. But even those of us who are considered “good people” often do not think of stealing anything, of betraying their partner, or of doing worse. What does that say about our character? Is it only reprehensible if we are caught doing this?
How many times have you done something that you would probably never have done if others had been there and seen what you were doing? Would you be embarrassed if it came to the public? Did you just follow your impulses because you were sure nobody would ever find out?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the term “sin” lately. What is sin exactly? In the Christian religion, sin refers to what God displeases (or dishonors). The Ten Commandments warn us against adultery, theft, murder and other aberrations. Supposedly you will stay in the favor of God if you follow these instructions.
In some world religions, there is only one commandment, which is: Too bad for anyone; which basically summarizes all aspects into two words. Do nothing that could harm you or another creature. Sounds simple enough, right?
What is right or wrong?
Nevertheless, there are gray areas within these two examples, or not? Sometimes it’s hard to say what’s right or wrong. Is it theft if we find money on the street and pick it up? Does it make a difference whether it was € 5.00 or € 500.00? Is it wrong for us to lie to protect the feelings of others? Is it theft if we take some paper clips from the office home? Is it really a “damage” to the company? Is it cheating to flirt with or dream of someone other than our partner? Or is only the physical act of sexual intercourse fraud?
How can we know which behavior is right in situations like these? How do we reconcile integrity with our impulses and desires? I think it may be helpful to take a closer look at our motives and possible consequences. What is your intention in each situation? What are you hoping for? Could your actions harm others or yourself? Would you agree if your actions became public knowledge?
Maybe some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, “What’s the problem? Is not it so tragic to take a few things with you from work, or to betray my wife? What they do not know will not harm them either. “That may be true, but does it not harm you in the long run? Do not those acts interfere with the kind of person you are? Do not they darken your inner light? If it is true that we are all interconnected, is not it true that other harmful activities harm us? By disrespecting others, we disregard ourselves and God.
Personally, I do not believe that God is sitting in the clouds, angry and waiting judgmentally, to throw us into the abyss of hell because of our sins. Rather, I believe that there will be one last “review” of our lives, and that we have to account for what we have done. But I think we will be our own judges. In the deepest part of our self, we finally know right from wrong to distinguish.
The free will – curse and blessing at the same time
We are not perfect and nobody expects us to be that. We all make mistakes and do things that we feel ashamed of later. After all, we are all just human beings. But making a mistake and deliberately doing something that we know to be wrong is twofold. We can sometimes try to fool ourselves and justify our actions. Maybe your husband is not paying attention to you, so you try to convince yourself that it’s okay to have an affair with a man who gives you the missing attention. Or your employer gives you such a lousy salary increase, so you decide to make up for it in other ways, such as: As the stealing of operating material or counterfeiting your time records. You ask for it, right? Surely you are free to do all this, and no one will stop you. Our biggest gift in life is free will. Unfortunately, he is also often our biggest curse. Our actions always have an impact, whether they arrive now or later.
The character of a person is defined by his behavior
After all, it’s all a matter of personal responsibility. Do we want to be a person of character or not? It does not matter if we are caught or not. What matters is that we define ourselves through action. If I take something that does not belong to me, I’m a thief. If I cheat on my spouse, I’m an adulterer. If I do not want to get caught, I should probably let it all stay that way. It seems that the truth speaks for itself.