A Lesson in Character
edited: Monday, February 13, 2012
By Lawrence J Danks
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, February 03, 2009
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Excerpt from: "Your Unfinished Life: The Classic and Timeless Guide To Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness"
You Can Make A Difference
French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne noted: “The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to live with purpose.” “Without a high purpose, a calling [where the work is an end in itself], or an ideal, we cannot attain our full potential for happiness.” [Happiness -Tal Ben Shahar ] It’s up to us to discover what works for us. Shahar’s book, and others mentioned in the "Further Resources" section at the end of this book, can help you identify your own high purposes that can lead you to happiness.
“Difficulties Are Things That Show What Men Are” - Epictetus
I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk outside a Burger King in Center City Philadelphia late in the afternoon on a Christmas Eve day. I asked him if he wanted some clothes I had been keeping in the car for someone who might have been able to use them. He accepted them willingly. I also gave him an amount of money I had never given before, one I don’t think he saw too often. If perhaps you’re thinking, “Wasn’t that nice?”, I want to assure you that I was the one who came out way ahead in the encounter that day.
When I gave this gentleman the folded up money as I shook his hand, he opened it up, looked at it, then he looked at me and said, “Do you know how much you gave me?” I said that I did. He thanked me, we had a brief conversation, then I left. I thought to myself afterward, here’s a man sitting on a sidewalk, on a cold December day, with next to nothing, and when someone gives him something he clearly needed, he had the character to ask if I had given him what I had intended. He may have been down on his luck, but he was right there with his principles. What explains how a man who has virtually nothing, shows character to emulate, and how others who have so much already will go to any length to get more, even to the detriment of others?...