Selected Quotes about Character

Guard against the prestige of great names; see that your judgments are your own; and do not shrink from disagreement; no trusting without testing. -- Lord (John Emerich Edward Dalberg) Acton

Character is the salesperson’s stock in trade. The product itself is secondary. Truthfulness, enthusiasm and patience are great assets to every salesperson. Without them, they couldn’t go far. Courage and courtesy are essential equipment. -- George M. Adams

We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. -- David Bailey

The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself. -- Bo Bennett

One can acquire everything in solitude - except character. -- Marie Henri Beyle

Reflect upon the defects of your character: thoroughly realize their evils and the transient pleasures they give you, and firmly will that you shall try your best not to yield to them the next time. -- Helen P. Blavatsky

The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that. -- Charles R. Brown

I take it as a man's duty to restrain himself. -- Lois McMaster Bujold

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back. -- Abigail Van Buren

Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. -- Elihu Burritt

Do not wait for the last judgement. It takes place every day. -- Albert Camus

Strong feelings do not necessarily make a strong character. The strength of a man is to be measured by the power of the feelings he subdues not by the power of those which subdue him. -- William Carleton

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance. -- Thomas Carlyle

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. -- Dale Carnegie

If one sticks too rigidly to one's principles, one would hardly see anybody. -- Agatha Christie

Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him. -- Cicero

Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Abraham Lincoln did not go to Gettysburg having commissioned a poll to find out what would sell in Gettysburg. There were no people with percentages for him, cautioning him about this group or that group or what they found in exit polls a year earlier. When will we have the courage of Lincoln? -- Robert Coles

Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established. -- Confucius

To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle. -- Confucius

With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men. -- Clarence Darrow

Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs. -- Joan Didion

The farther behind I leave the past, the closer I am to forging my own character. -- Isabelle Eberhardt

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. -- Albert Einstein

Nature magically suits a man to his fortunes, by making them the fruit of his character. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I could never think well of a man's intellectual or moral character, if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments. -- Nathaniel Emmons

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all. -- Sam Ewing

To measure the man, measure his heart. -- Malcolm Stevenson Forbes

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. -- Anne Frank

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him. -- Victor Frankl

There never was a good knife made of bad steel. -- Benjamin Franklin

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. -- James A. Froude

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. -- James A. Froude

Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures. -- Horace Greeley

I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind. -- Richard Greenberg

To exercise good character daily is to be morally fit for life. -- Karen Hartz

A man's character is his fate. -- Heraclitus

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny — it is the light that guides your way. -- Heraclitus

People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. -- Hermann Hesse

The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do. -- John Holt

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. -- Elbert Hubbard

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. -- Elbert Hubbard

I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking. -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -- Helen Keller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -- Helen Keller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -- Helen Keller

To produce things and to rear them, To produce, but not to take possession of them, To act, but not to rely on one's own ability, To lead them, but not to master them - This is called profound and secret virtue. -- Lao-Tzu

To succeed is nothing, it's an accident. but to feel no doubts about oneself is something very different: it is character. -- Marie Leneru

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. -- Elmer G. Letterman

Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character. -- Oscar Levant

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents. -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -- Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -- Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -- Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -- Abraham Lincoln

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. -- Thomas B. Macaulay

It's good to shut up sometimes. -- Marcel Marceau

Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem. -- W. Somerset Maugham

When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character. -- W. Somerset Maugham

The character of a man is known from his conversations. -- Menander

When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. -- Japanese Proverb

You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. -- Ronald Reagan

The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence. -- Edward Rickenbacker

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Our character ... is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be. -- George Santayana

I admire men of character and I judge character not by how men deal with their superiors, but mostly how they deal with their subordinates. And that, to me, is where you find out what the character of a man is. -- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

You can tell the character of every man when you see how he receives praise. -- Seneca

Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. -- Margaret Chase Smith

Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath. -- Solon

In attempts to improve your character, know what is in your power and what is beyond it. -- Francis Thompson

How can we expect a harvest of thought who have not had a seedtime of character? -- Henry David Thoreau

To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours. -- Mark Twain

He is like a good prewar house-solidly built. They don't build them that way anymore. He's also been repainted several times. -- Theodore White

Give fools their gold, and knaves their power; Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall; Who sows a field, or trains a flower, Or plants a tree, is more than all. -- John Greenleaf Whittier

No fate could rob us of our own-- No circumstance can make it less; What time removes was but a loan, For what was ours we still possess. -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig. -- Woodrow Wilson

“If you lose your wealth, you have lost nothing, If you lose your health, you have lost something, But if you lose your character, you have lost everything.” -- Woodrow Wilson

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. -- John Wooden

In the world to come, I shall not be asked, "Why were you not Moses?" I shall be asked, "Why were you not Zusya?" -- Rabbi Zusya

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