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… and a woman too, now that I think of it.

Character … how someone acts when nobody else is looking … and sometimes when they are. The formal definition says something about mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

I saw this meme today and thought how very true it was.

tumblr_ltbzpqm6Ed1qhpi70o1_500There are other ways, too. Other times.

Like how he treats … and whether he says thank you to … the wait staff.
Like whether he smiles at small children.
Like whether he drives past a 60-year-old woman struggling to change a flat tire.
Like what he says about someone after they walk away.

Like what he does versus what he says.
Like whether he offers to help when you are moving.
Like what he does when he sees that you are hurting.
Like whether he takes the blame for something he did, even though it will be painful.

Like how he ends a relationship.

That last one. The relationship one. That one.

Yes, that one.  And yes, I know that is when people can be their most vulnerable. And not at their best from any standpoint. And all of us have fallen short in that arena at different points in our lives.

At least I have.

It is also the time when a man (or woman) shows more of their character than they may even realize. Despite words they may have used about taking the high road, or words about being the better man (or woman), or words on not being like that, or anything else … words.

What they do speaks volumes.

And no, there is no good way I suppose.

But I read something recently on a post of a post of … well, let’s just say it was a comment on a public page several times removed from me.  But it, and the comment on it by someone, struck me deeply.

Here is the first comment:

i just spoke to a girl i know who works at a local shop. she is very cute and i have no doubt she has many male admirers.

but she told me that the young guy she had been dating broke up with her via text… last night. hello? on the evening before valentine’s day?

advice to younger dudes – you can break up via text but if you do – you are a cowardly little weasel.

grow some balls and pick up the phone.

however unpleasant that may seem, it’s way more unpleasant to live with your own chicken shit karma.

back in the day if a man didn’t do this face to face, they would be described as gutless.

Three things that struck me.

One was sympathy for the young girl … not only for the timing but for the time that she will hopefully take to get over it.

Second was the “advice to younger dudes – you can break up via text but if you do – you are a cowardly little weasel.” Good to hear a grown man say that. And yes, it was a man who posted the comment.

Third, it is true. When a man … even a fairly grown boy … chooses to end a real relationship with a text, or a quick Facebook post or message, he qualifies as a cowardly little weasel.

And gutless. At least in that instance. It’s taking the easy way out. Not unlike a few of the other items on my character list above.

Then I saw a reply to that comment from someone I know:

Sage advice, which my ex and I passed along to our sons a few years ago.

Have some class, show some respect, grow a pair and do the right thing.

It gave me a warm feeling … for several reasons.

First, how wonderful it was that a couple could come together despite their own differences in the raising of their sons and instill values like that in them. Instead of the kinds of things that children from divorced parents are sometimes taught instead.

Second, the words class and respect. It would show class on the part of the young men, and respect for themselves and the (assumed) woman.   It gave me hope for my own daughter that she will find someone in her life who might have been raised like this. 

Last, I was proud to consider this man (yes a man posted this as well) as a friend … a man who would encourage future men to “grow a pair and do the right thing.” This is how boys become men. By being taught by adults.

It was just nice to know someone out there was teaching them how to do that … to be respectful, mature and responsible.

Even when it was the hard thing to do.

That’s class.

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