Sunday, December 6, 2015


People come in all shapes and sizes and with radically different personalities. While some are more jovial, others are dour; while some are more happy-go-lucky, others are worriers. Yet weather predominantly nefarious or angelic, some have strong characters and others don’t. There have been some notable “strong characters” in history and there are many in the modern world. There is a certain amount of confusion as to what constitutes a strong character and how such people differ from other people around them.

First of all, there is vast difference between the terms “a truly good person” and a person with a strong character: a strong character may be truly nefarious possessing all the questionable qualities of the dark Machiavellian triad or completely angelic. Whereas Jesus, for example, was good in the strongest sense of the word and had a strong character to boot, Stalin was totally evil and also had a strong character. Whereas there some truly pure hearted individuals who are good people, they may also be meek, or afraid of friction, or easily lead, or simply shy and retiring, which most definitely means they don’t have strong characters. A person with a strong character has immense reserves of inner strength which no amount of opposition will be able to deplete. In short, such a person has the power of his convictions and will not back down if he believes he is on the right path.

Second of all, people with strong characters have been tried and tested by circumstances and have remained upright. No amount of opposition daunted Gandhi, for example; nothing could persuade him to turn away from the philosophy he held so dear: non-violent protest. The most serious weapon in his arsenal was going on hunger strike and it always worked due to the love his people felt for him. Both Martin Luther King and Luther were strong characters who suffered due to what they believed in yet remained steadfast. Hitler, the evil leader of the Nazi’s, also suffered during his childhood and early youth and during his rise to power yet good, he was most certainly not. Stalin and Chairman Mao were both strong characters who came from peasant families and clawed their way to power. They had strong characters but were not good in any sense of the word as the millions whose blood was on their hands would testify.

To sum up, having a strong character should not be confused with being good. People with all kinds of different personalities may have strong, unshakeable characters which have been molded through their experiences. Such people have gone the extra mile and remained standing and that is what makes them strong; not whether they are good or evil.

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