The word character when used it is generally attributed to an individual only, but it is not so, as-the word is equally applicable to a social group or a nation. A set of distinctive personal qualities found in an individual constitutes the character of that particular person and the something applies to a nation or social groups.
The word character is generally used to indicate good character only. Each one of us possesses character – either good or bad as there are several hues and shades of character ranging from highest good to extreme bad. Except a few individuals who are either highly noble for extremely bad rest of the human beings fall in between these two ends. For example, Lord Ram stands on supreme good and whereas Ravana stands on the extreme bad end.
Character to a certain extent is hereditary but it is built by acquiring a long list of virtues. The qualities like morality and discipline, honesty and integrity will power and courage, chastity and loyalty, sacrifice and self respect, kindness and truthfulness go a long way in building up a noble character. Practice of morality is a must for developing a good character because it teaches a person to distinguish good from bad and right from wrong. Another important virtue is discipline. Discipline breeds character. A person of high morality always practices truth and justice. Such qualities develop self- respect and strong will power; these qualities contribute for the development of good character.
Character building is a continuous process, so it is not possible to built character of a person in a single day. It should be built step by adding one virtue to another.
Character-building should start from childhood, follies like stealing, lying and bullying should be checked and if necessary should be stopped by punishment, among children.
Also good habits like wearing neat and tidy dress, maintaining good health and clean life help in the development of good character. Character always depends on the quality of thought that one holds in the mind. So a sound character can be built by those who live in the company of wise and noble men. Young boys should imitate for truthfulness – Raja Harichandra and for supreme sacrifice emperor Shibi chivalry they can learn from “Arjuna” the son of Kunti. They should learn from our historical heroes-Shivaji and Maharana Pratap’s nobility, courage and bravery in building up their character.
A man of character always finds a place importance in society. He is liked by all. A good character provides reputation and personal charisma. A man of character endears everybody. As the fragrance of a flower envelops the whole garden in which it is bloomed. So also the greatness and frame of a person with character spread, far and wide. Socrates was an ugly person but of sterling character. He was liked by all none were repelled by his ugliness but all were attracted by his good character.