In the last chapter you learnt that the study of Moral Science is essential to form one’s character as it should be.
Character is the most important thing in life. It is the essence of all the moral values that we possess. It is said of character, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost, something is lost, but when charcter is lost, everything is lost.”
How truthful the saying is! If a person loses money, he can hope to earn it again with patience and hard work. If a person falls sick and loses good health, good medical care can help him regain good health. However, it can’t be said of character which is the greatest strength of a person. Once a person loses this strength, he lowers himself down in his own eyes and is viewed with doubt and suspicion by others.
His own inner self troubles and bothers him. He is unable to face the world boldly. He falls in social grace and nobody likes his company at all.
He can never make good this loss. It is difficult to regain good name and fame. So, they say “If Character is lost, all is lost.”
A person with good character has certain basic rules and moral values which are universally recognised and accepted. The other differences regarding culture, creed or colour do not change the characteristics of a good person.
Every human being, no matter where he lives, should be honest, straightforward, God- fearing and truthful.
These are the permanent values of life. Besides, punctuality, obedience, faithfulness, cleanliness, purity of heart, sweetness of temper, absence of greed and spirit of selflessness are some of the other permanent values which one should try to possess and practice.
People of great character live selfless lives. They try to make other’s life comfortable and happy. They forget their own pleasures for the sake of the others. They aim to live for mankind. All the great saints of the world gave up lust for money and material comforts and led hard lives to lessen other people’s misery, poverty and ignorance.
The study of the lives of all great men like Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak, Swami Vivekanand and St. Francis shows that these men tried to understand life right from their childhood. They did not grow great overnight. It was a slow and steady growth of their ‘inner self.’
A child’s mind is impressionable. Early impressions last long. Whatever a child learns in his early years lasts the whole life. It becomes a part of his character. Therefore, the proper time for a person to pick up these values and to build his character is early childhood.
Good friends and good books influence a person greatly. They make a great mark on one’s mind. We learn a lot from them. In fact, they shape our conduct and behaviour. A good environment, in fact, forms the very basis of good character.
You must be careful to keep off bad company because it has bad influence on your life. You should try to earn good name by your actions and behaviour. Seek lofty goals and achieve them.