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Feedback Q&A on Character

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 171 comments and questions on Character issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




Benefits Writing a letter of reference for a co-worker USA
Ambition Son is staying at home and refuses to help out USA
Ambition How to get the right amount of ambition? Kenya
Honesty May I use your mini quiz in our monthly newsletter? USA
Franklin's Virtues I've been trying to be good but often fail India
Purpose of Lessons Does pornography mean poor character? UK
Newberger Book How does a counselor deal with cheating students? Ethiopia
Motivations to Change Character I want people to like me Syria
General I am pursuing an MBA and need to know my character India
If I Were Brave Wish message applied to corporate culture USA

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First 10 letters

Writing a letter of reference for a co-worker

Topic: Benefits


March 30, 2010

Need some help on how to write a letter of trusworthy for a co-worker.




I assume this is a letter of reference for your co-working, stating the person is trustworthy, as well as having other positive character traits such as being reliable and hard working.

Such a letter does can be very short and to the point. You could write something like:

To whom it may concern:

I find XXX to be a trustworthy and reliable fellow worker. We have known each other for YYY years, and I could always count on him/her to do a good job.

If you would like further information, feel free to contact me.

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Son is staying at home and refuses to help out

Topic: Ambition


March 26, 2010

I have a son who is 29 years old. He has no form of transportation currently and doesn't seem to be concerned. He is still living in my home and doesn't want to lift his hand to do anything physical. His entire family thinks that he is lazy and I am trying to be considerate of his feelings. He has shown selfishness in many ways in the past. I will not go into explanation at this time due to the lengthiness of the situation. How should I go about informing him that he needs to get some ambition and quit depending on Mom? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Sherry - USA



It is easy to lack ambition when you have someone doing everything for you. Sometimes adult children that are staying at home fail to realize that they have some responsibility to and are no longer kids.

One thing to do is to have a talk with him and ask him if he has any plans for the future. Ask him if there is any type of job that he'd really like to get. Ask him is he can still see himself living at home when he's 40. You may not get any answers, because he may not know. However, it might get him thinking about things.

Besides that, tell him that you work very hard and that it is not right that he doesn't help out around the house. Then tell him that if he wants to stay at whole, there are some chores that he has to do in order to help his mother.

Another thing is to tell him that he will have to start paying room and board. It doesn't have to be much, but even $10 a week will make him realize he is no longer a child that someone is taken care of.

The worst thing in the world is to try to be considerate of his feelings. That doesn't do him any favors. On the other hand, having others tell him he is lazy also is not a positive approach.

You want to encourage him to seek out his dreams. Giving him some responsibility is a start in the right direction.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes and helping her son move toward success.

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How to get the right amount of ambition?

Topic: Ambition


February 22, 2010

So how do you maintain the balance between having too much ambition and having too little? How can i know that I have the right amount of ambition?

Jeddida - Kenya



A person with too little ambition is usually considered lazy. However, some have not found the motivation and the means to inspire their ambition.

A person with too much ambition can be obsessed with achieving his goal and reaping the rewards. Sometimes that can be good in the short-term and is called determination. However, an overly ambitious person may be greedy and even ruthless in achieving his goals. His life has no balance.

You want to find something you want to get or want to achieve and be ambitious in moving toward your goal. But also, it is not only winning or getting a reward that is important, but it is also the desire to grow, to do your best and to be proud of your achievement. Good ambition also involves helping others. A man who is ambitious for his family is seldom overly ambitious. If he cares for his family, he also will not be lazy.

Seek to grow and to help those around you, and you should have the right amount of ambition.

Best wishes in your success.

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May I use your mini quiz in our monthly newsletter?

Topic: Honesty


February 8, 2010

May I use your mini quiz in our monthly newsletter? I will send you a copy of the completed one and also give credit in the newsletter to your site. Thank you.

Linda - USA



Yes, you can use the material in your newsletter. That would be great to get a copy.

Best wishes in making your newsletter great.

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I've been trying to be good but often fail

Topic: Franklin's Virtues


January 25, 2010

Sir I have been trying to make good my life, but offen I fail.
I have collected so much material from the internet and I am not sure that whether I shall be able to read them all.
I came across these 13 virtues and they seem so simple.
I am not sure that will they produce results to me?
Are they comeplete, or more needs to be added to these virtues?

Please guide me I am in need to help.

Thank you

Nitin - India



Franklin's 13 virtues is a nice guide to leading a good life. They will help you achieve your goals, as well as to have good relations with others, including in your business or career.

Benjamin Franklin tried to follow these virtues in his life, but he sometimes missed the mark. Yet, he lived a long and successful life.

Do not think of failing in what you attempt. Instead, consider them setbacks from which you can learn and improve.

There are variations of these 13 virtues. They can be summarized as: "Don't do things that harm yourself but rather do what helps you," and "Don't harm others but rather seek to help them."

Following these simple guides or virtues should give you a successful and happy life.

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Does pornography mean poor character?

Topic: Purpose of Lessons


January 12, 2010

Dear School for Champions,

This message contains my sincere issue about character and its possible erosion through exposure to pornography. Because of its subject area please do not overlook the importance of my search in finding a place of understanding and piece to what has become a nagging issue.

As a child growing up I was the youngest of four brothers and pornographic magazines were often brought into the house and secretly thumbed through. I started masturbating to these images at around 13 always feeling guilty, perhaps because of my catholic upbringing. I had many other 'negative' social qualities getting into trouble with school/police, playing truant from school, drinking alcohol etc...
Incompatible with this lifestyle was my feeling to improve myself and be "wholesome". I have cut out alcohol (over 6 year now, after being an alcoholic) and stopped smoking. I practice Transcendental Meditation and constantly devote myself to being better in every way.

One of the 'character' issues that I have wrestled with has been masturbation and pornography. I came to the conclusion that my body is producing sperm at a prolific rate so masturbation is ok and the fact that I feel guilty about it is down to hormones released after sex and a large dose of Catholic Guilt.

Recently I came across an audio book that exposed the praises of having a "strong character" and I began to wonder if I was strong in that department?

My first musings led me to search the internet for definitions of "what is character" and I read several articles on this site that I found very informative.

Character in essence seems to be a very subjective, thing. One person's truth is another person's untruth; and character seems to shift depending upon circumstance and point-of-view.

IF this is the case, how can anyone ever know if they have a STRONG character? If there are so many variables what solid concrete foundation can someone class their judgement of character upon? Religionists used Jesus and the bible. However, ever since Darwin and the unearthing of the Gnostic Gospels the foundations of the bible aren't secure enough to validate judgement of a profound and intimate thing as a person's character.

If a person judges his character by the merits of his conscience then like me you will find that there will be issues like pornography that my conscience has a neutral take on through familiarity and therefore miss out on improvement because of non-awareness of the dire situation that perhaps I considered normal. Conscience is dependent on perspective.

Is 'Character' itself just a concept? Just a word where the statement, 'they have a strong character' is similar to saying, 'they have a strong accent,' totally dependent upon condition, circumstance, paradigm and perspective?

Thank you for reading this and I do appreciate your response to the points I raise.

Thank You,

Peter - UK



Much of character comes from what you learn from parents, friends and your own experiences. Your inborn own personality traits color your character.

Personal character concerns your attitude toward working and achievement, as well as taking care of yourself. Typically, a person who is hard-working, responsible and does not abuse alcohol, food or sex can be considered to have strong personal character by other people. Such a person will achieve his goals and have greater accomplishments.

Social character concerns attitudes toward other people. A person with positive social character is honest and helpful, as opposed to being deceitful and harmful to others.

Group-based character concerns following the rules of a group, such as the Church. A pious person is considered having good character to other church members.

Masturbation and pornography are against church doctrine and someone who is involved in such actions is considered to have poor character to church officials. However, unless done to an excess such that it harms the individual or someone else, it may not be an indication of poor personal or social character.

If you live a life where you do not do things that harm yourself--like excess drinking, not showing up for work, or such--you can be considered to have good personal character. Also, if you do not harm others or cause a loss to them, but instead are helpful and kind, other people will consider you to have strong social character traits.

I hope this helps to clarify things to you. Go through our Character lessons for more information.

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How does a counselor deal with cheating students?

Topic: Newberger Book


January 4, 2010

Hi,I am Ashenafi Tesfaye.I am a gudance and counselor at medhanialem priparatory school . what i want to ask you is that why do student initate for cheating during examination.please send me any researh paper.if you can please tell me what is expected fuom ccounselors to improve this .

Ashenafi - Ethiopia



Many parents put so much pressure on their children to get good grades that students feels he or she must cheat in order to get a good grade. Also, some who have not studied enough may find that cheating is an easy way out.

As a counselor, emphasizing pride in personal achievements may help some students avoid cheating. However, you should never tell a student not to cheat, because they may become indignant at the implication that they are dishonest.

One suggestion is that in a discussion with a student, you might tell a story about some other student who was caught cheating and disgraced his parents. You can conclude with, "Of coarse you would never do this, but it is a shame about this other student."

It is a difficult subject for a counselor to handle. Hopefully, you will not find any of your students cheating.

Best wishes in your guidance and counseling career.

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I want people to like me

Topic: Motivations to Change Character


December 29, 2009

thanks for this website and for helping people and i need your help and advice cause i want to change my life my position my moving and i dont have good characteristic and i have to be a great person how can i talk people and make them like me cause i cant make good relations with people and i have to cause i am studying business and this is my second season and this specialize need active people, leader have good relation with people so i need u to give motivation and advice about changing my personality
all my regards

amr - Syria



An important adage in business and in sales is that if you help people to get what they want, then you will get what you want and your business will be successful.

The best way to make people like you is to take interest in what they are interested in. People want to feel important. If you show you are interested and listen to them, they will think highly of you. But if you try to control the conversation and brag about yourself, they will be turned off.

It is surprising that when you take the time to be interested and to ask questions from another person about their interests, you develop a whole new attitude toward people and toward life. This is the way to have good relationships with other people.

You do not have to change your personality. Instead know your strengths and weaknesses. Be yourself, be relaxed and do not try to impress others. Let them impress you, and they will like you.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your studies, your career and your relationships.

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I am pursuing an MBA and need to know my character

Topic: General


November 26, 2009

sir. currently i am persuing MBA in a prestigious university and hra university. basically i am from rural are. thats why i have not specific character. i have to be developed ewll. plz give me some suggestion. plz

surendra - India



You do not realize that you do have an established character. Being aware of your character traits will help you improve them.

Since you are studying for your MBA, you have the positive traits of being hard working and determined. It also takes courage to leave a rural area to go to a university. Your parents are responsible for teaching you many of these personal character traits.

Likewise, you have probably learned character lessons about honesty and how to deal with other people. Note that going from a rural area to a prestigious university can bring about a negative social character trait of looking down on those back home. Being humble is a very positive trait that will help you move forward in your relationships with people.

Do some self-analysis to see all the various character traits you may have. You will be surprised to see there is more to you than you realize.

Best wishes in your studies.

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Wish message applied to corporate culture

Topic: If I Were Brave


November 3, 2009

I found this site after accidentally hearing this song, and finding that it was sometimes used at corporate functions, such as sensitivity trainings. I think Ms. Standfield is a sort of genius for carving out the niche that she has. However, corporate culture does prevent people from finding their true bravery. Sensitivity training tends to limit people's voices, concentrates a narrow, common mind-set, and reinforces stereotype threat. Hopefully Ms. Stanfield can find the bravery to take her positive message to a higher, albeit less profitable, level.

Addison - USA



I believe you can be brave within the corporate culture. One way is to volunteer for tasks. You are putting your neck on the line, because if anything goes wrong, you may be blamed. But it is a form of bravery and courage that has its rewards, as well as allowing your to shape things in your viewpoint.

Society seems to have moved to two extremes. In one direction, there is the sensitivity training, diversity training and other efforts to make sure no one is offended or slighted. Corporations worry about lawsuits, so they try to stifle anything even slightly offensive to sensitive groups. The other extreme is that people have become extremely rude and even cruel to others. This includes managers in corporations and their attitude toward employees.

Jana's message of being brave applies to your life in general and being able to take chances. In a corporate setting, you still can be brave, as long as you are diplomatic, as well as careful not to step on someone's toes. However, you can be brave in the path you follow in life.

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