From a spiritual perspective, character is less about heeding the moral rules and more about our relationship with that undefinable something bigger. It’s about standing in awe of the gift we’ve been given. And it’s appreciating our inherent indebtedness. That’s what inspires gratitude.
Mindfulness is the key to true self-mastery. It’s too easy to live life on autopilot, a slave to our appetites and aversions. Connecting to the source brings us inner healing and also helps us relate to others in helpful, healing ways.
It’s hard to develop a balanced sense of self-worth in a culture that promotes and rewards egomaniacal thinking and a sense of entitlement.
The takers and users among us aren’t just arrested in their character development. They’re spiritually arrested, too. Humble gratitude for the gift of life is a linchpin of healthy character.
Spiritual growth and character growth go hand-in-hand. And such growth is all about relationship – to ourselves, others, and our concept of a “higher power.”
Many folks these days have narcissistic features in their character. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them a narcissistic personality. Nor does it necessarily mean they have a personality or character disorder. It helps to understand the vast spectrum of narcissism.
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.
Narcissistic bullies act out of a sense of entitlement. And they injure without compunction because they lack shame and empathy.
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.
An unfortunate number of folks bring all sorts of pain into their lives because they neither love themselves enough nor know how to love themselves properly. But self-love can be pathological, too, which is what the narcissism spectrum is all about.