Life Reflection: Actions Define Our Character

I’m sure you’ve heard it before but our actions are definitely a reflection of our character. Character is extremely important to me and most people in life. Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. So if actions determine one’s character then bad actions indicate poor mental and moral qualities while good actions indicate good mental and moral qualities.

A person is a complex being…that’s a given. None of us sit solely on the good or bad character side of the spectrum. We try our best to live our lives leaning towards the good as much as possible but we’re not perfect. And that’s OK. 

We try our best to live our lives leaning towards the good as much as possible but we’re not perfect. 

Most of us sit somewhere along the center of the spectrum. We all have bad qualities. For instance, I really enjoy gossiping with friends even though I know it isn’t necessarily a healthy habit. Others enjoy other negative things such as overeating, drinking too much, being judgmental…and the list goes on and on. As long as we try our hardest to be the best people we can possibly be then usually we are considered of good character.

The actions we choose to carry out ultimately define our character. 

There are people who would argue that our words define our character more than our actions. To that, I would slightly disagree. You see speaking or writing is required in order to form words. Doing either (or any other form of communication) is an action. Therefore, when we choose to speak certain words, we are clearly taking an action. In the end it comes down to action. The actions we choose to carry out ultimately define our character. 

Many people will say, “Well, I don’t say bad things about people” etc. The issue is verbally expressing bad thoughts doesn’t make you a person of good or bad character. In fact, sometimes those who say what they are feeling tend to have the best character in my experience. We aren’t defined by our intentions or our thoughts…we’re defined by what we do. You can’t be arrested and imprisoned for a bad thought. But you can be arrested for a bad action brought on by a bad thought. 

…When things are not going our way is when our true character shows itself.Life Reflection: Actions Define Our Character. It's what we do that defines who we are.--J Harvey

And what’s more…usually when things are not going our way is when our true character shows itself.

For instance, I had a friend who became very frustrated with the service at a restaurant. She blamed the server though my husband and I tried to make her see it was actually kitchen’s fault. In the end, she decided not to tip the server on her share of the bill. She punished the server because the kitchen was backed up. It made no sense to us and Alfred and I ended up leaving extra gratuity to make up for it. 

To me, this was a real reflection of this individual’s character. The way we behave when we’re wronged, inconvenienced, saddened, or angered really shows who we are as people. In this case, our friend showed us she is incapable of rational thinking and lacks compassion. It’s sad, really. 

Another example…

During a recent crowded event, a friend began to shove people out of his way. It continued and my husband and I began to feel rather embarrassed as we quietly apologized to others for our friend’s actions. Basically, in this situation our friend felt annoyed by the crowd and failed to take into account that everyone was in the same situation. He showed a great deal of selfishness and lack patience. It really hurt our perception of his character and made us not want to go to any future events with him.

In reality, we all need people.

You see, our actions speak volumes about us as people. Ultimately, we can think whatever we want, have any good or bad intention, and even feel every possible way. But the actions and reactions that we take as a result of those thoughts truly define us and leave imprint on other to remember us by.

In the end, there are many who my say they don’t care because they don’t need anyone. That’s silly. In reality, we all need people. So remember your actions can influence the relationships you are able to build. I know I prefer not to be around people of poor character. And all I have to really go by is people’s actions.

J Harvey. 

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Life Reflection: Actions Define Our Character. It's what we do that defines who we are.--J Harvey

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