The first step in developing high character is being able to acknowledge your shortcomings. Once you're aware of them, you can begin the process of changing them. Character defines who we are. So when we judge someone else, we often judge them based on character. For example, when someone always seems to do the right thing, we classify him/her as a person of high ethical standards. Likewise, when someone is constantly negative, we consider him/her to have a pessimistic view. These judgments occur in an instant, and whether they are right or wrong, they influence how we feel about a person. If we are so quick to judge others based on character, then why do so many of us fail to judge ourselves based on character? Many of us judge ourselves based on our accomplishments, yet fail to question our integrity and honesty in achieving these accomplishments.
Instead of being so quick to judge others, take a look in the mirror and judge yourself. Perhaps you will see something you weren't expecting. You may realize it's time to make a few changes.
There's a poem written by Dale Wimbrow which sums up the importance of character.
When you get all you want and you struggle for wealth,
and the world makes you king for a day,
then go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say.
For it isn't your mother, your father or wife
whose judgment upon you must pass,
but the man, whose verdict counts most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass.
He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he's with you right to the end,
and you've passed your most difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
but the man in the glass says you're only a bum, if you can't look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world, down the highway of years,
and take pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
if you've cheated the man in the glass."
In closing, no matter who you are today, understand that tomorrow doesn't have to be like yesterday. Don't let your past dictate your present and your future. Make the choice today to develop your character, if you haven’t already.