Understanding a person is probably one of the hardest, yet most important aspects of life. Gaining insight into who a person is matters.
There are people who are one way today, and another tomorrow… they probably don’t even know who they are themselves, the only thing certain is that who they are is uncertain and only based on whatever circumstance they might find themselves in.
There are people who are generally good, honest, and follow through with what they say, to understand a person who represents these characteristics is pretty straightforward. Only certain circumstances may tempt them to act out of character – high stress, illnesses, boredom, envy, or pride. You can trust people like this, until they are faced those circumstances that produce some ugly characteristics.
There are people who are extremely selfish, making decisions that can or could ruin their life as well as the lives of those who most depend on them (children and spouse). This kind of person lives a majority of their life in secrecy, with secret bank accounts, secrets they keep from their spouse, secret purchases, and assuredly, a secret thought life. This kind of person is dangerous somewhat to others in that they will only be good to you as long as you are useful to them. They flatter and pretend interest in you, but are really more interested in what you can do for them or how they can use you – not sexually, although that falls under this category, but use you in any way to further themselves in life. They are predictable in the way that you can be sure they are always acting in their own best interest, and usually never in the best interest of others.
And there is another category of evil. I know, strong word right? There are people who truly have no remorse for evil acts they do in secret (think child molesters, serial killers), they have no understanding or empathy for the pain they cause to another person, and when faced with justice, they show no remorse. They are easy to understand in the way that they do not easily change, and therefore are easily predictable.
I deliberately missed the last category, people of high character. In contrast, these are by far the most trustworthy of people, because even if it condemns them, you can depend on them to always do the right thing. Most “good” people are reaching for this, and usually attain it fleetingly – the test of their character when they are found in less than desirable circumstances reveals who they truly are – do they have the strength to resist greed? Are they happy for others who are succeeding, even when they themselves are failing? Do their children matter more than their work, even when their child interrupts with something important to them in the middle of a critical work project? Do people in general matter to them, or are they in the end only looking out for themselves in life?
Choices. Life is full of them. With every choice, we become more of who we are in life. We become people of character when we make the best choices. We surpass being merely “good people” to being people of “great character” when we make the best overall choice… and do what is right.