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Character

Fr. John G. Panagiotou

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Growing up in my hometown, I fondly remember Mr. MacNamara's corner drug store. There the kindly old pharmacist Mr. MacNamara would not only own a pharmacy, but he would have for sale all kinds of candy and nicknacks that only an old-fashioned drug store would offer. As kids, we knew that Mr. MacNamara knew us by name and who our parents were and would look after us as we patronized his store with the buying of Topps' baseball cards and other candies. Mr. MacNamara would always make sure that we did not overspend our allowance wastefully and that he gave us the right amount of change. These things were just understood and considered as standards. In short, the relationship was based on trust, confidence and character.

So many times today we are confronted with the reality that many people do not understand what the meaning of the word character is. Literally, the word means that which typifies a person in his/her own inner essence. In effect, it is the aroma of our souls that lingers with people once we have exited a room.

In a world where we see daily media reports of corporate financial scandals, greed and institutional corruption of all kinds, we look to find a place where someone's word means something. We are looking for the corner pharmacy where you know that your best interests are being overseen. We look for a world that a person's word is his bond and that word predicates all actions that he does. We look for a world where we can put and keep honor in a handshake.

Yet, in many instances, in the fallen world, people have chosen a path antithetical to the teachings of Christ. They think that being duplicitous, dishonest and selfish will put them ahead of others in the race of life when in reality they dig for themselves a pit from which they cannot escape without being buried alive in the dirt of despair.

As we read in the Book of Proverbs, a good reputation is to be chosen more than fine silver or gold. There is a saying that states, take care of your character and your reputation will take care of itself. This statement is so true. God has called us to be men and women of character created in His own image and likeness, not caricatures of our fallen, selfish selves.

Fr. John G. Panagiotou is pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Charleston, South. Carolina.

Read the entire article on the Holy City Chronicle website (new window will open). Reprinted with permission of the author.

Posted: 18-Aug-05



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