The new Police Dynamics blog has already generated some interest after only 24 hours! Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to subscribe and to comment.
One of the topics I see talked about a lot in the blogosphere is the definition of character. We can go to the dictionary but a good working definition is a bit elusive. It’s a lot like pornography — you know it when you see it (I know, bad example. But there was actually a Supreme Court decision that ruled that way…).
Or maybe more importantly — you know it when you don’t see it.
Either way, it’s sometimes hard to pin down a definition.
I’ve heard this one quite a bit: “Character is who you are when no one else is around.” This captures a piece of the pie, but I like to add “… and you don’t think you’re going to get caught!”
The definition I have used in Police Dynamics training over the years comes partially from the folks at the Character Training Institute. They say “character is the inward motivation to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances.” I like this definition, too. But it was pointed out to me in a recent comment that this is a description of “good character,” because your character can be either good or bad.
I also like to add to this definition the following phrase – “… and regardless of the costs.” Because sometimes doing the right thing might cost you something. It could cost you a friend; it could cost you a court case; or it could cost you your job. Men and women of true character are willing to pay the price.
Many of you have already paid the price of good character many times over, and I applaud you for it. Thanks for setting such a good example. And feel free to share some of your experiences here, by the way.
And be sure to keep track of my blog by subscribing to the email feed for future posts. I’ve got some more good stuff coming.
And remember to “Keep up the good character!”