How do you judge good character?

As i have been thinking about the idea of ‘Character’ and ‘A person of good character’  it seems to be a bit subjective or elusive in terms of definition.

One of the dictionary definitions Uncle Google came up with was ‘the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.’

But the problem with that definition is that it uses the word moral [which in itself, these days, seems to be a subjective term] which Uncle G describes as ‘principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.’

And so, instead of trying to come up with any kind of definitive definition [is there such a thing as a non-definitive definition?] of what i mean when i talk about a person of character, i thought it might be more helpful to describe some aspects that i [and possibly some others, and hopefully also you] think of when i think of the idea.

This could be a multi-parted post and as i suggested, instead of trying to find ‘the answer’, i am rather wanting to explore a few ideas and concepts that might give us a clue and you can decide out loud in the comments section whether or not you agree with me. These are in no way in any kind of order of more or less importance but simply as ideas come to mind, i will look at them and invite your opinion and please do give it.


I was alerted to the fact [again!] today that a LOT of Facebook statuses tend to be negative – people complaining about the weather [too hot or too cold or too rainy or too snowful] or moaning because their sports team lost [usually carefully disguised as a rant against the biased ref] or a whole bunch of other things.

This made me think of my own. Do i tend towards being more positive in outlook or more negative? And what message do my social networks carry about me in that way?

And positivity or negativity are both highly contagious. Hang around with either type of people continuously and you will find yourselves likely to start sounding the same…

Maybe a good character check when it comes to Social Networkings is subtracting my negative/complainy/dissatisfied with someone/something messages from all the positive/life-giving/gratitude ones and seeing if i can come up with a positive number? How would you do on this?

A few months ago i started removing some of the constantly negative voices from my The Twitterer feed and it has done me the world of good. I am not talking about people who speak prophetically into a broken system and call for change, but simply those who always seem to be moaning or complaining and not offering any solutions or seldom focusing on the good and the great. Same with Facebook – if someone is constantly negative i eventually turn down the frequency of their involvement in my newsfeed.

i would suggest that the ability to be positive and hopeful and see good or the possibility of change, even in the most difficult and trying of circumstances, is a strong indicator of character.

i would love to hear your thoughts on how character can be defined for you…

[For the next post dealing with consistency, click here]