The Many Sides of Character and What It Can Deliver

Dear Reader:

My  favorite  little “character” statue in the garden is Bliss. She never fails to make me smile… with her arms outstretched ( little birds sitting on them) while she stares up into the sunlight and a world of happiness! She can find bliss  within herself …no matter where she is placed.

The term “character” is diverse and can used in many different ways. It can be used in reference to a quality, a person, or a mark.

Quality: The  particular combination of things about a  person or place, especially things you cannot see, that makes the person/place stand out from others.

Person: A person represented in a movie, play, or story

Mark: A letter, number, or other  sign used in writing or printing.

If we are talking about character demonstrated, especially during difficult times (character over circumstance) then we are speaking about discovering the true make-up of an individual. It is in this situation that the term character lies within a spiritual realm beyond the ordinary.

Max Lucado, in his book, Let the Journey Begin, addresses the term ‘character’ through a legend from India. The legend is titled: “Character Creates Courage.” Lucado shares this legend with his readers to demonstrate how character builds the traits around us we want to be remembered for long after we are gone. *But a lesson to the wise…these enviable traits come from inside, not out.

“There once was a mouse who was terrified of cats until a magician agreed to transform him into a cat. That resolved his fear…until he met a dog, so the magician changed him into a dog. 

Now the mouse turned cat turned dog was content until he met a tiger- so once again- the magician changed him into what he feared most at the time. But when the tiger came back complaining that he had met a hunter…the magician refused any more help.

I will turn you back into a mouse again…for though you have the body of a tiger…you still have the heart and courage of a mouse.”

Isn’t this story so true of human nature? We want security and courage so badly that we desperately try to built a moat around us to never let in something that we fear. The weapons we use to protect ourselves (from our own self-inflicted fears) are wealth, fame, and status.

Lucado asks us: “But do these approaches work? Can power, possessions, or popularity really deliver us from our fears? Courage is an outgrowth of who we are. Exterior supports may temporarily sustain, but only inward character creates courage.” 


So until tomorrow…Every morning we have choices to make concerning the day ahead and they are freely ours to make…whether we choose kindness or patience, tolerance, acceptance, joy or courage…is up to us. Father help us make the right choices on the right days for the situations that will befall us…putting others first.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*As I walked in the garden yesterday the silvery plants (Artemisia “Powis Castle”) looked so pretty against the colorful dark pink azaleas and different shades of green)…they even looked alluring against another overcast day.

When I came back inside I cleaned up my bedroom (always a good feeling) and turned on the twinkling fairy lights…they always brighten my world…inside and out.

I had to laugh at myself when Lucado added this paragraph at the end of one of his chapters….I don’t think I have a “strut” down yet… I am getting better, however, at “ambling” and taking time to enjoy the garden and beauty at a leisurely pace…but I will definitely take this thought into consideration! 🙂 *Don’t want to get “too big for my britches” as Grandmother Wilson warned me as a child.

“God would prefer we have an

occasional limp than

a perpetual strut.

And if it takes a thorn

for Him to make His point

He loves us enough not

to pluck it out!”



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Many Sides of Character and What It Can Deliver

  1. bcparkison says:

    Good thoughts here Miss Becky. Thanks.


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