What are the building blocks of character?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Barbara Woodruff
  • 932nd Security Forces Squadron
According to the dictionary, the word "character" means "the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another." These qualities separate individuals in their jobs, performances, and in their personal and professional relationships. In today's world, I feel some of these main qualities are lacking. Character is the foundation upon which one lives (or builds or develops) their life. This defines who we are and what we value in our lives.

Without character, a life can be meaningless. What do you want people to remember about you when you pass?

The main character traits needed by individuals are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. In order to be an upstanding individual in society and a top notch worker for your organization, if even one of these characteristics is missing then it affects everyone in your life.

It affects your ability to be a good parent to your children, because they do by what they see not what you say. It affects your work performance because if your boss can not trust you or feel confident that you will do what you say...then they will not give you anymore tasks.

This will affect your ability to move up in that organization. Each one of these character traits is vital to living a full and meaningful life and having an impact on others.
So let's look at each character trait separately and describe each one briefly to ensure the distinctions are clear:

TRUSTWORTHINESS-Have the courage to do the right thing. Be loyal. Stand by your family, friends and country. Build a good reputation
RESPECT-Use good manners, do not use bad language, be open-minded.
RESPONSIBILITY- Have self-discipline, be accountable, set a good example.
FAIRNESS-Don't take advantage of others, don't blame other carelessly.
CARING-Be compassionate, kind, sincere.
CITIZENSHIP-cooperate, vote, obey laws, volunteer, respect authority, protect the environment.

Do you exhibit these traits on a daily basis or just when it is convenient to get what you want? In today's world, we need leaders who display these characteristics on a daily basis; these traits will help others to see that they can count on their supervisors in times of crisis. Each one of these character traits will allow you to have healthy relationships, a quality job, and most of all, leave something behind for others because you lead by example.