Feb 22, 2011

Investment decision

What's the difference between Personality and Character?

I believe personality is what you are in public and in light. Character is what you are alone in the dark.

We spend thousands of rupees on our children and ourselves honing our personalities - from the clothes we wear, to the schools we go to, to the books we read and movies we see. It is important to speak well, to look presentable, to keep up a social conversation with intellect and wit. There are tests to rate where you stand. "What an attractive personality!" we say of those men and women who 'have what it takes'. Your personality is what gets you a job or partner, what gets you social approval and admiration. And so we invest heavily in this part of ourselves, our public personas. It's all good.

But few of us invest as much in our characters. Who are we when we are shorn of external achievements and trappings? Who are we without the labels? Who are we in the dark when no one is watching, listening, observing? Are we strong, at peace, happy, content, fearless, home? Building character does not require an investment of money. It requires adversity, forbearance, grit, self-reflection and time. It also requires patience, tolerance, compassion, love and an act of Grace. We are our own teachers and our own students. The only tests are those from life itself.

A personality is something you have. A character is something you are. Having a fabulous personality does not ensure you a sterling character. But true character does ensure a magnetic personality. Our personality is linked with our mind and body. It will not last; we often change 'colours' based on our circumstances in life. Our character, on the other hand, is linked with our soul. It outlives us when we die - we carry our karmas and life condition with us, lifetime after lifetime.

A good personality is a useful thing to have in this world. But a good character is vital both here and beyond. What will you choose to invest in today?

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