On Good Character

Anthony Weiner certainly isn’t the first politico, let alone human being, who has gotten caught acting inappropriately (with another) while in a relationship. While we all scrutinize Weiner for doing something that is so utterly stupid, especially while in the position he is in (husband and rising Democratic star), let’s get to the real issue here: he’s not alone. There is an innumerable number of individuals out there who have acted purely out of lust, impulse, and stupidity — whether they have gotten caught or not. Is there a lack of foresight? Maybe. Lack of tact? Sure. Lack of character? Oh, most definitely.

While so many of us look to date someone who is kind, attractive, funny, or simply someone of great academic, financial, and maybe even social stature, there aren’t too many of us who will really look at the core of a person’s person to see if all of that is backed by good moral character. I can attest to this as I was often blinded by the superficial in the past. And, I admit it’s actually hard to focus on character while you’re in a relationship because hey, if this person is great to you and to those you love, everything should be dandy, right? Wrong.

I once dated a man who was kind to me, sure, but treated everyone else like the gum under his shoe. He’d bark at waiters for bringing things late, and snap at customer service reps for not understanding what he was saying. He wasn’t just someone who was grumpy from time to time; he felt people he did not like or love did not deserve the goodness in him. The thing is, it didn’t matter if he treated me like a princess; the fact remained that this man was a man of convenience. He was nice to a person if that person served a purpose in his life in some way. Anyone can be good if it’s convenient for him/her. He was not the kind of man I wanted in my life. (Some would call this a defense mechanism but to me, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It is what it is.)

(This doesn’t mean I think everyone should be saints. I understand people have their bad days, and just because they happen to say, snap at someone in the moment, it doesn’t make them a bad person. However, I’m talking about a person’s overall outlook on how he/she treats those who do not serve a purpose in his/her life.)

It is of little importance to me if a person loves me or adores me at the moment. If he/she has this type of mentality, I will most likely keep my distance. Why? What if something were to go wrong in our friendship or relationship? I can pretty much look forward to facing the same fate of those who were treated like beef jerky in their wake. I’d much rather surround myself with individuals who believe in treating everyone with kindness because that shows grace.

When I first started talking to my boyfriend (during our *dating stage*), he told me that he will never cheat on his partner. Well, of course everyone says that — who would outright say they are the cheating type? However, what did stand out about what he had to say was the reasoning behind his statement. He said that humans are going to face temptation. We’ll see it around us, and sometimes, it’ll even approach us. However, he stated that he had pride in his self as a person to not be *that* guy who succumbs to these temptations. Not only would he not want to hurt the person he loves but also, he would not want to disappoint himself. (Okay so he said it more eloquently but I’m tired from 3 hours of sleep okay!) He expects so much more from himself - to be a good, honorable person who won’t trade his dignity for momentary pleasure.

For me, this is much more solid than simply stating, “I won’t cheat on you because I love you” because more often than not, many people admit to cheating because they had either fallen out of love, or because they felt they were not getting what they needed out of their relationship. These are such cop-out responses, and it really makes me want to punch these people in the face. Just take accountability for your actions. You could’ve dealt with it in a better way but you chose not to.

Anyway, I completely agree with my boyfriend. I, for one, have enough pride in myself to never let that happen. I believe I should act positively based on my own standards for being, rather than based on the exterior circumstances. Loving my partner and not wanting to hurt him is a given; the unspoken rule as to why I won’t ever cheat is written in my blood and it reverberates with every beat of my heart. I was raised by a grandmother who showed grace even to those who were undeserving, and a father who never said one bad thing about others, no matter how much they screwed him over. I’m not as nice as I’ve said things about people I am not fond of; however, you’ll never see me be mean to anyone. 

I know this whole entry is disjointed. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish to devote my life to finding good, genuine individuals who will grace me with their compassion because I have a long way to go and I wish to learn from them. 

I think I’m better at picking out individuals who are more self-serving, and have learned to keep my distance from them. I will always be kind to them, and will hang out with them should they ask, but if given a choice, I’d much rather be around more positive individuals. People who don’t dole out their kindness in rations based upon who they think deserves it.

(End note: if you’re reading this and have cheated in your past [or you’re doing so presently], I’m sorry if this offends you in any way. I don’t judge my friends based on the decisions they make in their own lives, and I’m not trying to proselytize. These are just my thoughts on the matter at hand.)