“The Measure of Character” // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson


Character matters — and the way we treat and speak about others is character’s best measurement.  Civility, unfortunately, is becoming an increasingly rare virtue in our society.  The divisive rhetoric in our land is increasing, and does nothing to bring us together.  The bridge of understanding is built through mutual respect.

A big part of maturity is learning to disagree agreeably, and treating people with kindness, even if they don’t share our values.

Recently, I ran across this piece from an unknown poet which captures this ideas.  Though it was penned over 70 years ago (long before authors knew about inclusive language), the point certainly fits for our day and age:

The man’s no bigger than the way

He treats his fellow man;

This standard has his measure been

Since time, itself, began!


He’s measured not by tithes or creed

High-sounding though they be;

Not by the bold that’s put aside;

Not by his sanctity;


He’s measured not by social rank,

When character’s the test;

Nor by his earthly pomp or show,

Displaying wealth possessed


He’s measured by his justice, right,

His fairness at his play,

His squareness in all dealings made,

His honest, upright way.


These are his measures, ever near

To serve him when they can;

For man’s no bigger than the way

He treats his fellow man.

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