The latest development in my tenacious quest to define character: interestingly, Gretchen, our creative arts director, just elaborated on this in her Labor Day sermon (check out the 8/31/08 one once it’s posted here).
I’ve taken Gretchen’s classes on “Story” (adapted from the infamous Robert McKee classic…so beautifully mocked in “Adaptation“…but I digress…) – all that to say she gets storytelling and used this to elaborate on what CHARACTER is. Specifically as distinct from “characterization”:
– Characterization is what we can glean about people from their observable traits: mannerisms, looks, habits, words, voice, outward appearance.
– Character is ONLY revealed by the choices a person makes when under pressure.
It all leads us to a great reflection question: “What do our choices reveal about our character?”
Gretchen drove home the point by referencing another film hero, Steven Spielberg, who apparently screens movies by leaving out the SOUND. This filters out the ‘noise’ (literally and figuratively) to enable him to get at the core of the characters …as revealed by what they DO vs. what they say (or perhaps for us, what they write, text, etc. as well….).
So if someone were watching our life as if it were a silent movie, what would they say about us? In essence, who ARE we (as distinct from what we may say or think we are)?
The Hebrew mindset is dead-on here. It’s all about ACTIONS. Jesus the Israeli said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
Words words words. Maybe I should blog less.