There are many ways to abuse power in relationships. That’s true whether you’re talking about workplace relationships, intimate relationships, or even political and governmental affairs. So many times we face imbalances of power. And that’s why character matters so much.
Our narcissistic culture has fueled much ego inflation. Healthy self-esteem will flourish when society decides to make character matter again.
It’s hard to understand why someone would lie when the truth would suffice. And it’s especially hard to understand why someone would lie when the truth might well serve them better. Pathological liars aren’t crazy. There’s actually method to their apparent madness. They may drive you crazy with their antics. But once you understand why they do what they do you can restore your sanity.
Some problematic cultural norms have become so commonplace and deeply ingrained that we hardly ever think of them. Moreover, we rarely think of the impact they have on character formation. The values a culture promotes and the behaviors it rewards shape not only individuals but also the society at large. Societies of noble character are built upon people of solid character.
Choosing the right relationship partner can be quite daunting. But how a person has behaved in past relationships best predicts how they’ll eventually treat you.
A person who’s been converted doesn’t relate the way they used to. Their whole manner of seeing and doing is different. It’s an observable change. And one that’s consistent over time.
To be of sound character, we must be more than just morally good. We have to be intimately connected to the source of good. Spiritually awakened, we see things differently and are moved to conduct our lives differently.
Abuse victims learn the hard way that interest doesn’t equal regard. Unfortunately, they learn it after they’ve been exploited or mistreated.
These days we have all kinds of ways to explain people’s dysfunction. And while there are indeed times when a perfectly healthy person’s biochemistry suddenly and for no apparent reason goes kaflooey, and cases where unpredictable tragedy so traumatizes that it temporarily impairs even the most well-adjusted person, more often, a person’s character not only predisposes the problems they experience in life but also exacerbates those problems when they occur.
Character matters more than ever in our age of widespread narcissism – a culture of entitlement, relativism, and permissiveness that has kept too many from outgrowing their infantile egocentricity and developing the character necessary to be socially responsible.