People who have no room for character improvements need not read this week's column by the Courier-Post's Danny Henley.
Today’s column will be a waste of your valuable time if:
• You believe your character simply has no room for improvement.
• Your attitude is “I may not be perfect, but this is the way I am and if you don’t like it you can go ...” (I’ll let you fill in the blank since this is a family newspaper.)
• You acknowledge you have room for personal improvements, but lack the strength and/or courage to make meaningful changes.
There are probably other reasons, but you will figure out soon enough if this column is not for you.
Like most people tasked with writing a column on a regular basis, I’m constantly trolling for something new to write about. My wife, Nancy, and daughter, Anna, are particularly appreciative when those topics do not involve them.
Recently a headline on the Yahoo Web page caught my eye: Six personality traits to admire and acquire.
Cited by the article’s author as noteworthy traits were: Selflessness, tolerance, genuineness, sensitivity, integrity and humility.
Four of the six I have no trouble embracing - selflessness, sensitivity, integrity and humility.
Selfless people are those who are wired up believing your needs always ... ALWAYS come before their own, regardless of whether we’re talking about their time, talent or resources.
Those who possess the gift of sensitivity aren’t those who bawl every time they see “Old Yeller,” but someone who will share their neighbor’s pain and cry with them.
More people believe they have integrity than actually do. To belong to this exclusive group you must always strive to do the right thing, regardless of who, if anyone, is watching.
Many people honestly don’t know if they are equipped with humility. The litmus test is when the spotlight shines in your direction, do you run toward it or from it?
Forgive me, but tolerance and genuineness are not traits I’m enamored with.
In today’s society, being tolerant has become synonymous with being blind. If you stand up to things you know are wrong you will likely be slapped with the label of “intolerant.”
Being a genuine person who marches to the beat of a different drummer can be a good thing, provided it doesn’t entail your tramping over the rights and feelings of others.
What traits do I admire and wish I had an abundance of?
Patience is at the top of my wish list. Patience means far more than waiting without pacing for my turn on the computer at home. Patience means being a good teacher, maintaining an even demeanor regardless of whether I’m explaining something for the first time, or 400th time.
Another trait I admire is kindness. In the 21st Century words such as charitable, benevolent, humane and even chivalrous are used to describe what growing up I came to understand was kindness.
Someone who is kind is noted for being friendly, generous and warm-hearted in nature. While I like to believe there is kindness in my soul, I wish being kind was not something that required a conscious effort.
I wish my character was more forgiving. It can be a real challenge sometimes to move beyond the pain that others seem to so thoughtlessly inflict. Someone who truly forgives doesn’t continue to pick at the “scabs” left by past wounds, they forget about them and thus allow them to fully heal.
For more on the traits I admire visit 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible’s love chapter. I want to be more loving, and maybe I will, because as long as I draw breath I’m still a work in progress.