There's something to be said for the natural inclination of character that is not afraid of the awkward but proactively seeks the kind. The very being of humans who seek to be good, do justice, have mercy and walk humbly seem few and far between these days. Perhaps this is what makes the gravity of finding them, be-friending them, or just knowing of them so heavy in my mind.
The gracious acts of kind friends recently reminded me that character, above all else, is the essence of a reputation in life. This may seem like an easy conclusion to make, but I think that so often we are bombarded with the branding of a person before we are confronted with their being.
There is virtue in the genuine essence of character of a person. A virtue which has become lost in the maze and haze of people choosing to define and incline their lives toward elements, images and representations that do nothing more for them than create cheap knock offs of people.
We hear it all the time, it's become white noise to our heads and our hearts: we're becoming delegates of brands, of message, of advertisers' dreams. We're losing our identities in a world where a bite out an apple signifies wealth and being effortlessly cool. Where dark pieces of plastic over your eyes can shield you from conversation or looking like you care.
The thing is that's it's not happening in a material existence, it's happening in the evolution of personalities and character too. We may belligerently use physical emblems of culture but we use regurgitated values and characteristics too. It's almost become accepted to be intolerant, rude, or brash with people. Acting foul mouthed and furied is fine because "you're a go getter who knows what you want". Ignoring people is fine because "it would be awkward to talk to them anyway" is happening. That person, with the smile, who is always interested in engaging in conversation is now an image of the past, a gimmick in the present, a vintage in the future.
Which is why I say it again, there's something to be said for the natural inclination of character that is not afraid of the awkward but proactively seeks the kind.
We live not just in a material existence where we play games of monopoly with our stuff, but now we manipulate the virtue of character for the gain of self. The excuse of exhaustion or accidental ignorance has become our currency and yet we wonder why life just isn't how it used to be. Or why life 50 years ago seemed so much sweeter than it does now.
Engaging in grace and humility, assuming to be meek but standing up for what's bold and courageous has become a bit of a joke. Which is unfortunate, because the quality of life that exists by these standards far outweighs the life that is defined by retched skews of character that have the self as centre and the heart of others as an afterthought.
The friends who have grace, who have smiles, whose hearts are filled not just with love but gregarious laughter and encouraging affair are the friends who inspire me to do better. Imagine, just think, if we were to each engage in being such a person, the affect it would have on each other, and the effect it would have on the world we're living in.
When time begins to slow and light starts to fade, it's the essence of someone's character that is what you remember about them. Their reputation may be found in their possession, but it's built on their character. Long live the kind, long live the true, long live the humble and long live the gracious.