„Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable.“

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

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Sydney J. Harris Foto
Sydney J. Harris44
American journalist 1917 - 1986

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„The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.“

—  Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980

Quelle: Man for Himself (1947), Ch. 3
Kontext: Temperament refers to the mode of reaction and is constitutional and not changeable; character is essentially formed by a person’s experiences, especially of those in early life, and changeable, to some extent, by insights and new kinds of experiences. If a person has a choleric temperament, for instance, his mode of reaction is "quick and strong.” But what he is quick or strong about depends on his kind of relatedness, his character. If he is a productive, just, loving person he will react quickly and strongly when he loves, when he is enraged by injustice, and when he is impressed by a new idea. If he is a destructive or sadistic character, he will be quick and strong in his destructiveness or in his cruelty. The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.

„There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

Friedrich Nietzsche Foto
Friedrich Nietzsche Foto

„Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900

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„Since 1977, there have been many science fiction movies, but none has managed to equal [A New Hope's] blend of adventure, likable characters, and epic storytelling.“

—  James Berardinelli American film critic 1967

Review http://www.reelviews.net/movies/s/sw1.html of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
Four star reviews

„The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

Albert Camus Foto

„...there are more things to admire in men than to despise.“

—  Albert Camus, buch The Plague

The Plague (1947)

Frank Chodorov Foto

„Freedom is essentially a condition of inequality, not equality. It recognizes as a fact of nature the structural differences inherent in man — in temperament, character, and capacity — and it respects those differences. We are not alike and no law can make us so.“

—  Frank Chodorov American libertarian thinker 1887 - 1966

Quelle: Fugitive Essays: Selected Writings of Frank Chodorov (1980), p. 397, “Freedom Is Better,” Plain Talk, (November 1949)

„Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

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