What is Character?

The following article is written in honor and in memory of Mike Brennan. He was a man of great character and is truly missed. Today we celebrate the life of Mike… 

Also a BIG thank you to Julie Brennan of MyForsyth Magazine for sharing Mike’s powerful words with all of us!

What is Character

What is Character? Character is…

-the calm ability to stand against the opinion of the mob, not from obstinacy, but because the facts are on your side.

-telling the truth, not only when the lie may profit you, but when the truth may cost you.

-not turning your back on a friend when his foot slips from the straight path, or when hard times arrive.

-doing what you know to be right, without being coerced, even when it may appear wrong to others.

-acknowledging openly and readily when you have erred.

-being humble in victory, and gracious in defeat.

-helping a stranger in distress, not because it is your duty, but because it is the human and right thing to do.

-refraining from cruelty to people and creatures weaker than you.

-not cheating, even when you can get away with it.

-refusing to pass along scurrilous stories about others, even if they are true.

-a readiness to truly admire in others the talents and virtues that you lack.

-the willingness to do your work as well as you can, even with no reward or praise, because you know that excellence is its own reward.

-giving a hand-up to someone striving to improve himself, even if he will become better than you.

-not engaging in stupidity or mischief, just because “everyone else” is doing it.

-the habit of thinking of others at least as much as you think of yourself.

-realizing that learning is not only a lifelong process, but the key to understanding our existence.

-the determination not to acquiesce to intimidation.

-the understanding that evil is to be engaged and defeated, and that it is not overcome by fleeing from it.

-knowing that the first step in having a good friend or neighbor is to be a good friend and neighbor.

The character of any group, whether a family, a church, a community or a country, is determined for good or ill by the character of the individuals who comprise it. If we want a good country, we’d better be good people. It’s up to us.

Character isn’t something we’re born with, like the color of our hair or the size of our feet. It is something we consciously and unconsciously mold every day, even in our smallest actions and decisions.

Character is a matter of choice. Every day, let’s choose to be just a little bit better than we were yesterday. It’s just as simple as that.


 Mike Brennan passed away at the young age of 59 in June of 2014. He loved his country, his father, family, and friends – with true passion, tenacity and wit. He was an eloquent writer, avid reader, and opera buff. He loved life, in his own pithy sort of way. He is deeply missed yet his legacy lives on through his family, friends & anyone else who encountered him.


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