Thoughts on Character

“Our character is defined by what we do when we think no one else is watching.”

Today while I was sitting in line at a drive-thru, I saw an elderly man backing out of a handicapped parking spot. Based on the difficulty he was having performing such a simple task, it was clear that he was too elderly to be operating a vehicle. Sure enough, I watched as he hit the car next to him, scraping and denting it along the way. When he realized what he had done, he angrily muttered something and quickly looked around to see if the restaurant’s traffic employee noticed what had happened. Once he saw that her attention was focused elsewhere, he took off. No note, no attempts to alert the other car’s owner, nothing. I was so angry, it made me teary. (My attempts to get a look at his plates were unsuccessful.)

Indeed, our character is defined by what we do when we think no one else is watching. It was distressing to witness someone displaying character that is so dishonest, unkind, and unfathomably selfish. I don’t care if he fled out of fear of losing his license. I don’t care what justification he thought he had. This wasn’t okay. And it really rattled me.

Then again, it made me grateful that I have so many people in my life with such beautiful characters. People that I can trust implicitly. People who are honest, generous, and kind. People who do the right thing.

While this experience/reminder was enough to take care of my entire gratitude list for the entire week, I’ll just count it as one item for today. Here’s the remainder.

In addition to good people in my life, today I was grateful for:

– Getting in a good training run in spite of a the oppressive heat and a heavy case of fatigue

– This gorgeous mess of flowers along my route that always reminds me of every day miracles


– This absolutely adorable scene with this squirrel who had found discarded watermelon pieces at a building site along my route. He was so happy about his treat that it made me laugh and warmed my heart.


– Simple reminders of God’s provision.

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