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The opportunities to realize and grow our character is when we face challenging moments in life. This becomes challenging because our mind is conditioned to turn away in these of uncomfortable emotions. The mind will try to direct choices to avoid fears and perceived discomforts. In spite of their best efforts, people who turn to the easier route of emotional comforts and safety will still face situations that don’t go their way. We will all experience the same realm of emotions. It’s one of the common denominators of the human experience.
Whether it be the loss of a loved one, physical pain, relationships, our own death, or something as mundane as a traffic jam or vacation not going according to plan, our life will not be without surprises and discomforts that bring about emotion.
It is in these moments of adversity that you have an opportunity to see your character.
The time to measure a person’s character and integrity is when there is chaos around them and they are under emotional stress. In those moments do they let fear invade their mind? Do they resort to compensating strategies of anger and attempt to control other people in order to create emotional comfort for themselves. When times are good it is easy to be generous.
Whatever you determine your character to be in that moment, know that it is not permanent. Whether you succumb to fear or resort to anger in that moment it is not a measurement of you. It is only a measurement of your character in that moment. You can grow, become more aware, and change from the experience. If you choose to do so, you will have changed your character.
No description or label that you might place on your integrity or character is permanent. I’ve seen men and of mediocre character rise up in moments of crisis. And I’ve seen men and women of great character stumble in moments of minor pressure. The difference in the two is what each learns from it and how they approach their next moment of life.1