How do students define 'character'?
May 28th, 2012
09:05 AM ET

How do students define 'character'?

By CNN Schools of Thought Editors

(CNN) - As we focus on our heroes this Memorial Day, we thought it would be interesting to find out what students think about the concept of “character.”

So, CNN Student News anchor Carl Azuz went to our audience of middle and high school students and asked how they define “character.”

Here’s a sampling of what the students had to say on the CNN Student News blog:

Maggie: Character is whatever defines you – how you act, your personality, everything that you do has a lasting effect on your character. However, you have to be careful and make sure you have a good and positive character so you build a good reputation among others as you grow older.

Sara: When I hear the word character, I think of people and the way they act, behave, do etc. Character is a word that basically portrays who we are, not only on the outside, but on the inside, too.

Bryce: I define character as being a role model to others who want to be successful in life.  I think anyone who does not want to be successful in life still needs a character to show them how to live life better.

Santiago: Character can be defined in different ways, there is no right or wrong. Having character means to have courage and be willing to do the right thing at the right time. Character is not only "moral excellence and firmness" because excellence is an illusion. People with character always do their best and never give up. They have no limits and will not stop supporting what they think is right without a fight.

Liam: "Character is what you do when no one is around." – Unknown

Iva: I think of someone having character like a hardware tool box. Everyone has different qualities and strengths that can be used for many purposes. When life gives you a tough situation, use the resources in that tool box.

Nykolas: To me, character is who you are on the inside. It’s not who you pretend to be, or who you become so others will like you. Character is what makes us who we are. It is who we really are and always will be.

Joy: To me, character is how you act when you have to make a difficult decision.

Madison and Drew: Character is something that a person works for and builds. Character is something everyone strives for, but only someone who makes sacrifices will succeed in building their character. Character is what makes a person who they are. Character is what makes humans to be unique and have diversity.

Mr. Sebela's Class: We think of character as showing who someone is through their actions and how they present themselves. Also, character is also based on personal experience in life. Character can also be based on what direction you choose each day and the decisions that you make.

Joshua: Character is what defines you as a person. Our football team has a motto "Ability may get you to the top ,but character is what keeps you there."

Herbert: I think of character as a moral supremacy. It is the epitome of integrity and the want and will to do what is good and right at all times.

Juanito: I love the United States Armed Forces. . . Character is something demonstrated throughout the entire forces. Happy Memorial Day!

Tell us in the comments: How will you spend Memorial Day? How do the kids in your life or classroom define character?

Posted by
Filed under: Voices
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. tina roertson

    My husband and I took are faimly camping, we were wakened by thunderstorms, when they were over we drove to town. We stopped at a K-mart we pulled in and a man was standing there telling people we have no power to ring up customers and he apoligized. Well my 12yr old son replies. Mom that can't do numbers with pen and paper. I knew math would'nt help me because if computers don't work neither do humans.

    May 30, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  2. tina roertson

    My husband and I took our kids on a camping trip,well we had waken to really bad thunder storms when they were over, we drove to the store to get the things we needed. We found a k-mart. We went to go in and a man said we have no power so we can't ring up customers and he apoligized. My twelve yr old says to us they can't do adding on paper. Then replies mom, why do I have to know math everything is done for me on computers. I know this because if computers are down humans don't work.

    May 30, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  3. Tiny Village Hack

    Video is nice and i admit that everyone should also download what you give us.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  4. JeramieH

    "Character is what you are in the dark."

    May 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  5. Noah

    Character is the way people react to situations. Your reaction to things whether it be by actions, words, or thoughts. Character truly defines who you are.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  6. Joe

    Character is doing the right thing even if the right thing isn't the popular thing.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  7. GreedKnight

    Character is what makes you. It is your ability to not shrink back from a daunting task and in the end to climb the walls placed in front of you. It s the ability to make hard choices and not necessarily the ones that benefit yourself over others. To show honesty and courage even when you are afraid.
    Character is what you are at your core. It will only be measurable by the roads you choose, the battles you fight, and the good that you leave behind in your end.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  8. rika33

    Frightening lack of depth

    May 29, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • SMV

      This article are the replies of CHILDREN- middle and high school aged children. I think they did a wonderful job given their age.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • SMV

        My grammar police brain kicked in after I posted above. My bad.

        May 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Conrad Shull

    I'm more concerned about students' ability to spell it than define it.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  10. Find Sugar Mummy

    You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be really one thing that I believe I might by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am looking ahead for your subsequent submit, I will try to get the dangle of it!

    May 29, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  11. Robin Foster

    Character – ? Some people do some really sick things and don't have any.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  12. tlb6432

    character is that definition of what you have shown, by words, thoughts and actions... but in a deeper level, it is how you knew of yourself and how God knows the end, it's between Him and you...

    May 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |