Stephen Covey, a well-known author, once studied the literature on success written in the United States over the last 200 years. He discovered that for the first nearly 125 years, character development was critical to success; however, in later years, personality or image building has taken over, neglecting the aspects of character development, resulting in many successful stories with “Intellectual Dishonesty” and a difficult time for those on the righteous path.
This phenomenon has been observed in India as well. The selfish agenda of gaining power, fame, and money through image creation via social media platforms, advertisements, and the injection of large sums of money received from foreign agents of destruction.
What is the distinction between character development and personality/image development?
When the emphasis is on character development, the individual intends to develop inner traits to imbibe moral values necessary to better themselves, believe, and act to develop society and country. It is a long process that requires a lot of self-effort on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Character traits that can be developed through character building include honesty, sharing and caring, selfless service to society and country out of love and belonging, a nation-first attitude, and social equanimity.
Whereas image building has always been focused on the surface. No focus on internal characteristics development focuses on creating an impression in the masses in the short term by using fake narratives and speeches to make a positive impression among the masses to use their intellectual capacity for selfish motives. These people clearly know how to create space in people’s minds using such fake and superficial tactics even though externally and behaviorally look amazing. This happens quickly, but it has long-term consequences for oneself, society, and the nation. Unfortunately, many youths are becoming engrossed in image creation rather than character development.
In the Bhagavadgita, Bhagwan Krishna explains why a leader’s character is more important than his or her image.
यत् यत् आचरति श्रेष्ठ: ,
तत् तत् एव इतरो जन: ।
स यत् प्रमाणं कुरुते,
लोक: तत् अनुवर्तते।।
The great man’s actions are emulated by ordinary men in all aspects of day-to-day life.
The common people pursue the same standards that they have set forth through their exemplary behavior.
As a result, every leader in society must keep the facts stated above in mind and act accordingly. As a result, a teacher is referred to as an “Aachaaryaa.”
विवेकः सह संयत्या,
विनयो विद्यया सह।
प्रभुत्वं प्रश्रयोपेतम् ,
Intelligence with skillful and thoughtful manifestation, Education with humility, and Leadership with courtesy are the characteristics of “Great People” who achieve laurels and success in life.
However, intellectual dishonesty seeks to foster an atmosphere of selfishness and greed over social and national character development. Millions of people have suffered in the past, and based on the current situation, the suffering will be multiplied in the future.
Many political leaders, saints from various religions, and other celebrities believe in the creation of fake images to gain immediate recognition, money, and power by exploiting ordinary people’s emotions and ignorance.
The India Today group published an article titled “Where are they?” based on their findings of leaders who received more media attention and created a positive image from 1975 to 1985. It was concluded that people and organizations who worked for the welfare of society and country on the ground without media publicity strengthened their standing in the minds of people and the overall community, whereas those who craved day and night media publicity lost ground or suffered a heavy loss in the image-making process. As a result, while appealing and ego-satisfying, this image-building process leads to more tremendous suffering for everyone who is influenced by it in the long run.
One example is that many leaders who became public faces because of India Against Corruption movement had a different agenda. Because people were looking for honest leaders, they used this platform to project an image of honesty. This image-creation process greatly aided them in establishing ground and space in many people’s minds. Now, one of their leaders is working with his gang to destroy the country socially, economically, and spiritually. The massive spending on advertisements and fabricated narratives to suit people’s mindsets is ultimately causing devastation for all. The sooner people realize this mindset, the better for our society and nation.
This new mindset accepts and believes in intellectual dishonesty right away but doubts the honest and culturally rooted person with good intentions. This mental bankruptcy must be nurtured through proper personal and national character development.
It is truly inspiring to see the current central government bestowing national honors on true unsung heroes who contribute and sacrifice their lives for the betterment of society and country while remaining unnoticed by the media. This shift will undoubtedly influence future generations’ attitudes toward character development in the interests of self, society, and nation.
Character development is synonymous with nation-building!!