Tag Archive: dr seuss


How do you judge good character?

 The idea or concept of ‘Character’ and ‘A person of good character’  seems, to me, to be a bit of subjective or elusive in terms of definition.

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.

I started by suggesting that having a more positive than negative presence on social media [and in life in general] was one way of assessing character.


For me, something that is a huge aspect of character is the trait of consistency. 

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean being the same way in different circumstances and with different people, but it does mean being the same person.

You won’t behave the same way with the CEO of a big company as you would when doing a family dinner or as you would when hanging out with a group of your mates. So I’m not saying that. What I am strongly saying is that in terms of the person you are, you will maintain that in the different groups of people and contexts, not trying to come across as one thing with one person and a different thing with another. That would be the term two-faced, which is the opposite of character. And in fact is closely linked to the word hypocracy which derived, as you all know from the Greek word ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis) which was used to describe an actor [someone pretending to be someone else].

For me, Jesus Christ was such a great example of this. He definitely carried Himself differently when addressing the Pharisees or speaking to the crowds than when He was merely hanging with His disciples or having one on one encounters with people. But who He was didn’t change. He didn’t change His message or demeanour to impress the crowds. He stayed consistent in terms of who He was and the message He was delivering, but changed the style and way of speaking to be relevant to whoever His audience was.

Be who you are. Trust that that is enough and if it not then change who you are, not how you present yourself. But Dr Seuss said it well:


What are some of the things you think defines character?

[for the next part on character looking at living out what you speak, click here]

Ah, what a winner, Pastis. Tackles the big issues and all. If you are not a Pearls before Swine fan yet, this is a great one to start with and then click on some links to other strips at the bottom – this is some fun stuff:



[For another Pearls before Swine strip with a touch of Dr Seuss, click here]

[For a growing collection of some of my favourite recent Pearls before Swine strips, click here]

Pearls before Seuss

In honour of legendary South African comedienne and fellow improviser, Anne speak-like-Seuss Hirsch, another great Pearls before Swine strip:



[For a Pearls Before Swine cartoon about dating fish, click here]

[For some of my favourite Pearls before Swine strips, click here]

i used to think a blog was just a way to get your thorts down… in a public space because yes someone else might be interested in hearing what you think; or else it was an opportunity to make some laugh or challenge someone about life and living; and of course the opportunity to have moments of complete randomness, because i like random. it helps fill in the gaps.

but i’m learning that that is not what writing a blog is all about at all [i love sentences that allow you to have the word “that” twice in a row and still make sense] and so here is my breakdown of one way blog-writing works [that involves hate speech, personal attack and waves of candyfloss]

[A] i write a blog about a topic

[B] someone makes a comment off topic and starts a heated discussion when i politely respond to them which generates into a heated debate

[C] somewhere further down someone joins in and backs their unrelated-to-blog debate and throws in a personal attack either directed at me [“you hate animals”] or else Christians [“christians hate animals”]

[D] from their many years of experience of knowing me and having any idea of what i am about one of the above people will make an absolute statement summing up who i am as a person [“you write blogs because you are desperate to receive all the fame that comes with writing blogs” – hm, they may have spelt “defame” wrong]

that is one way it goes and then eventually i might get tired of approving comments that are unrelated to the original blog and causing destraction and so may even refuse to approve one or two [hardly ever happens] and even delete a couple to clear up the blog which brings in its own wave of “you always” and “christians never” statements

there is another way of achieving the same results i have found:

[A] starts with a friendly request – “hey there, i really like orangutangs, do you think you could make a link to my ‘i love orangutangs’ site because i would really like that

[B] i reply with an honest, “i choose not to like that site because i choose not to given that i have a right to choose to like or not like a site and i don’t particularly like this one”

[C] friendly request changes tone – “you are evil and hate animals and so do all christians and you probably kill baby seals for fun and don’t put the toilet seat down”

[D] i smile. because i realise once again that writing a blog or a weekly thort or recording a podcast is not as simple and straightforward as i imagined and i stop for a second and wonder to myself if there will ever come a day when someone writes a comment related to the blogpost above it. but then i return to reality.

how am i able to smile and keep smiling? engage and keep engaging? love and keep loving? hope and keep hoping?… well, as my good friend Dr Seuss once wrote: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

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