One of the polarities I notice in the often heated discussion about the state of affairs and politics in the US these days seems to come down to one of two ideas. One is that character is destiny and that who we are and how we go about creating things in life matters more than the outcomes. The other perspective is that the ends justify the means, so you do whatever you have to on the path to getting where and what you want.
I happen to believe in the former over the latter, but I asked myself why? And for me I realized that character represents me and others when we aligned with something far greater than ourselves. Call it God or nature or spirit or morality, when I am being true to this deeper feeling I think I have more integrity and character. I then thought about what is character? And when I looked further descriptions were honor, rectitude, uprightness, moral fiber.
When I reflected more on the ends justifying means belief it felt more transactional and dare I say mercenary, concerned more with achieving outcomes regardless of ethics or morality. And I know I’m being a bit biased in my reaction. But what is is that bugs me so about this stance? I realized that aside from others be damned, there is a curious sense of insecurity about this approach to life. A sort of agitation that clouds the innate ‘character’ we all are born with and is an integral part of who we all are.
So when I’m working through any sort of challenge or goal, I tend to let the agitated and insecure thoughts and ideas pass through. And trust the ideas and actions that feel innately wise and right on a deeper level. And I believe we can all tell the difference between these two states, the former tends to feel more agitated and the latter feels more at ease and spacious.