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#331974 - 05/24/10 08:39 PM Building Character
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
I was watching NCIS, and they were talking about going on a stake out, and taking Agent McGee with them, and they said,

"It will help him to build character"

And i was thinking, what does that really mean?
Is it about getting him out of his shell?
Or pushing him to a limit so that he has to face his own hang-ups?
Or to become more hardy?

Some cultures do have character building exercises, is it the American indians who send their youth out into the wild for a given amount of time, to learn to fend for themselves, to live with the land and have some spiritual growth.

I find that i often think about identity and a sense of character. These questions of "who am i?", and not allowing the abuse that i suffered to be my identity, but to just be a part of who i am. I have grown and developed in many ways, and lots of that is to do with my experiences.

Anyway, i guess "building character" is about learning curves, would that be accurate?



#331978 - 05/24/10 08:52 PM Re: Building Character [Re: king tut]
FormerTexan Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12126
Loc: Denver, CO
A movie example comes to mind: Groundhog Day. I don't know if you've seen this one. It stars Bill Murray among a few others. In the movie he somehow keeps living the same day over and over. He starts off as a complete jerk towards people, and as the movie progresses he learns to become this better person amidst his adverse circumstance.

He learns to forget self and focus on the needs of others. I suppose that could be one way to define building character.

Money talks, but all it tells me is goodbye.

If I could meet myself as a boy...

#331994 - 05/24/10 09:49 PM Re: Building Character [Re: FormerTexan]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
Yes i have seen that movie, it was very good! I agree, i think learning to focus on the needs of others is one way to look at building character. To focus on the needs of others you have to be strong within yourself, so that implies strong character in that way too. I think it is also about being considerate in that sense.

I think maybe it is about both building a moral character, and a sense of self-identity, which is about your belief system. Also being tested, sometimes you don't really know yourself unless you are tested and put in to some situation.


#332011 - 05/25/10 12:55 AM Re: Building Character [Re: king tut]
Riley Offline

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 599
Loc: USA
Hey guys, I like this question alot. I hear this quote frequently at work and never really thought much of it.

To me, it is very personalized. "Character" means something different to everyone. To some people character means focusing on others and to some it means focusing on oneself.

I think their are 2 different uses of "building character" When you tell it to yourself, and when you tell it someone else.

When you tell it to yourself, I think it refers to either reaffirming what you believe to be good character or attempting to change your character to something more desirable (such as recovery work).

When somebody tells you that it will build character I think it is them trying to push whatever their belief of a "good character" is, for better or worse.


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