In this Peaceful Solution Character Education article you will learn what character is and why it is so important that each person strives to develop a positive character. So, what does it mean to have character? Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh him? Yeah, he’s a real character.” What do you think that means?
Everyone has character. Character is what helps each and every person to determine what is right and wrong. A person’s character consists of patterns of behavior that are considered either positive or negative. Your character reflects who you are on the inside; it goes beyond what the casual eye can see. Knowing about your character will enable you to understand why you think and act the way you do. Knowing how to identify a positive character in others will help you build strong, positive relationships.
Sometimes a person’s character can be mistaken for their personality. Although they can be confused, character and personality are two very different concepts. We need both character and personality to interact and function within our society.
Whether the character we have is positive or negative depends upon many different factors. These factors include genetics, family values, influences, experiences, choices and environment. Together they help to mold and shape our character. Our character defines what is important to us, what we believe in and how we treat others, just as clearly as our faces and voices define who we are physically. In fact, our character is an integral part of who we are.
How your character and personality develop is not only based on your heredity but also on your environment. Some traits like skin, hair, and eye color depend solely upon the shared genetic information from both of your parents. These are called fixed traits, because once determined genetically, your environment cannot change them. Through the study of genetics, science now knows that in addition to traits such as eye, hair, and skin color, individuals also inherit intelligence, musical abilities and specific behavioral patterns. These behavioral patterns make up what is known as your character and personality.
Both environment and what you have inherited, are powerful tools that shape you into who you are. For example, if someone who is born with the ability to be very intelligent or to have great musical talent is never stimulated to learn or has no access to a musical instrument, he will never realize his potential in these areas. Your character is developed in much the same way.
Character and personality can change and develop as you experience and learn new things. The important point to remember though, is that your character and personality are not fixed like your skin or eye color.