Quotations: Character

Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids.

If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance. Children must learn to identify the forms and content of those traits.
William J. Bennett

The formation of character in young people is educationally a different task from and a prior task to, the discussion of the great, difficult ethical controversies of the day.
William J. Bennett

Moral courage and character go hand in hand...a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle.
Martha Boaz

The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.
Abigail van Buren

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The force of character is cumulative.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
James A. Froude

Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.
Horace Greeley

To exercise good character daily is to be morally fit for life.
Karen Hartz

A person’s character is what it is. It’s a little like a marriage – only without the option of divorce. You can work on it and try to make it better, but basically you have to take the bitter with the sweet.
Henrik Hertzberg

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.
Elbert Hubbard

The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he’s born.
William R. Inge

Every man has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
Alphonse Karr

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man's character - give him power.
Abraham Lincoln

If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.
Paul Newman

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Thomas Paine

Character is simply habit long continued.

Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
Theodore Roosevelt

You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jelly beans.
Ronald Reagan

It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.

One can acquire everything in solitude — except character.
Henri Stendahl

Character is what you are in the dark.

If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.
Woodrow Wilson

Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.
Woodrow T. Wilson

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