Keeping Character

Rule 15. Your character cannot be essentially injured except by your own acts.

Rule 16. If anyone speaks evil of you, let your life be such that none will believe him.

I first heard these maxims from a book Gaining Favor With God and Man by William M. Thayer.

Hon. Stephen Allen, a prominent citizen of New York, a former mayor, died on a steamer “Henry Clay” which burned on the Hudson River. In his pocket was found a list of principles worth reading, many of which I have added to my list, these are two of them.

Henry Clay

Burning of the Henry Clay – Source collections.mcny.org

People may gossip, but a man’s character is shaped by his own words and actions.


Titus 2: 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.


Think about any actor or politician that puts his foot in it, they destroy their reputations by merely saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.


Webster’s 1828 dictionary describes Character as: By way of eminence, distinguished or good qualities; those which are esteemed and respected; and those which are ascribed to a person in common estimation. We enquire whether a stranger is a man of character.


Character is a man’s credit, it takes time and hard work to build it. Character is foundational to the American Dream, it is the sum the many qualities needed to succeed in business and life. Qualities possessed by men such as George Washington, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Sam Walton and many other self made men.

The only way to ensure your character is to behave in an upright manner, if anyone says anything against you, continue to live in an honorable way and prove them wrong. Gossip may sully character temporarily, but in the end the truth of a man’s character that remains.

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