NO MATTER HOW MUCH PEOPLE REJECT THIS nobody can truly refute the power we give regarding others’ perceptions of us. We all care what our peers, neighbours, superiors and subordinates think of us.
Knowing this, and looking it squarely in the face—with gritted teeth in fact, we can now draw close to the only thing that will promote the best in others’ perceptions of us, and again, a positive self-perception.
This thing we need is authenticity—the ability of the character to sit comfortably with the truth, always. That is the perfection of authenticity.
A whole barrage of virtue underpins this.
Courage, for one, is the very basis of truth’s apex. Without courage to throw off the shackles of those things we hide about ourselves we cannot come close to truth. Courage implores us to boldly go where we’ve not gone before, risking at times humiliation, embarrassment and even temporary loss so far as popularity with our peers is concerned. But courage is not stupidity... think about it.
Courage is the catalyst required in building for us, a wall of virtuosity.
Humility too is the desired and sought-after fruit of character balance. We see things aright when we’re humble. We’re therefore drawn to the truth—about ourselves and about others. All we want is truth. Hang the cost personally. Yet, costs as far as they come to others are wisely considered. Humility is a balanced self-interest in what we can do to improve.
Acceptance is a product of courage and humility. We accept what we can’t change. Acceptance is also wisdom as it accepts the things that can be changed as “changeable.” This is a great blessing, because finally we have the courage and humility to change and become more real, more truthful and more ourselves. We accept ourselves.
Authenticity—the overall goal in how others should see us—is the outward manifestation of our dedication to truth; courage, humility and acceptance work with truth to achieve this. They propel truth... or thrust us toward truth.
There is nothing quite like—more and more—being able to look people in the eye and be ‘all of us’ in our momentary interactions with people. This is the character of congruence—and of itself it brings peace to the soul.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.