Character Matters!

Character Matters!

I don’t know about you, but with months left before the election it feels like we’re being bombarded by media drama that makes it hard to cut through to the facts. How do we make sense of this to decide which candidates we’ll support?

Politics aside, from a psychotherapist’s perspective, I look at character. What does that mean – character? Mature character includes a collection of the qualities that demonstrate sound mental health. Some of these are:

• Respect
• Honesty
• Responsibility
• Kindness and compassion
• Empathy for others
• The ability to forgive
• A loving personality

Recently a friend asked me to watch the video of a speech by a political figure of a party other than my own and to give him my opinion. Although I did not agree with some of the man’s political ideas, I could report to my friend, that he seemed to be a person of good character according to the list above.

Why is this important? Because it takes people of character to work together to solve the complicated problems we face today. It takes people whose political mission is driven by a true desire to do something good for others, rather than someone whose plans are a cognitive and emotional manifestation of dysfunctional and immature personality traits:

• Grandiosity
• Arrogance
• Negativity
• Disrespect toward others
• Chronic defensiveness
• Over-aggressiveness
• Narcissistic self-absorption
• Failure to accept responsibility

I hope this point of view will give you another way to evaluate candidates in the current political season and make the whole process less daunting.

Schedule appointment

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Jeff Levine

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