A fresh academic year at college brings change. A new set of students enter and last year’s ‘freshers’ now turn into senior students. As is common in most colleges, the seniors will want to show their dominance over the new entrants, bully them a bit and have some so-called fun.
One new student was approached by a group of senior boys and handed a cigarette.
He declined. Another said, ‘Have a drink,’ which he declined again. ‘What are you going to do then?’ thundered one senior student, in mock anger. The young man quietly replied, ‘Let us pray...’
Test of character is when one can hold steadily to his or her own beliefs and core values. Anything that goes against the core values is unacceptable. Like Winston Churchill’s remark about his courageous general’s temperament during the Great War, ‘The impression I had of Tudor, was that of an iron peg hammered into the ground, immovable.’
Character distinguishes one person from another. By definition, character is, ‘strength and originality in a person’s nature; a person’s good reputation.’
The stunned senior students didn't know how to respond. Two decades on, they still talk about this quiet but resilient individual who taught them a vital communication lesson in how to say no. (Read also Saying No is an Art).
When faced with a challenge, the true test of character is in doing what you must do, not what you are forced to. At the workplace, challenges will present themselves time and again which will test your character and reveal your true nature. Watch how you respond.