On a recent trip to the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, I enjoyed viewing their monument to their bulldog mascots over the years.
The plaque shown here really resonates with me as it talks about the virtues of the bulldog.
“The Bulldog embodies ‘beauty without vanity. Strength without insolence. Courage without ferocity and all the virtues of man without his vices.”
– Lord Byron, 1788-1824
Too many times we see the faults of men as noted in this quote, and wouldn’t it be nice if we thought about how much we can learn from dogs?
This quote resonates with me as well because of the idea that traits that we hold in esteem also can have a dark side to them if you allow it.
Beauty/Vanity, Strength/Insolence, and Courage/Ferocity are the two sides of the coin, and it would benefit us to choose the better side of the range of these personality traits. We all have a range of these depending on the mood, situation or circumstance.
For me, personally, I think the hardest one is courage/ferocity. As an entrepreneur, nearly every day is a case of survival, and it takes courage to face up to a world where your income is not guaranteed and your ideas, products and/or services may not be welcomed in the market.
But the counterpoint to this is that to become courageous, you often may be seen as overly ferocious or aggressive in order to accomplish a goal.
The idea of the Bulldog as a symbol of these three types of character traits is a good reminder that when we think of ourselves as beautiful, we need to catch ourselves from becoming too vain. When we become strong, we need to be careful about becoming insolent to others, and when we have the courage to do something, how can we make sure that we do not become ferocious in that we alienate others?
Understand your character traits and always strive to communicate and keep the brighter side of that. Every day we have choices. We choose to be brave. We choose to be strong or we choose to be courageous. What are you doing to ensure that your actions reflect the better side of these character traits?
How About You?
Do you recognize the character traits needed to communicate? I would love to read your comments below or contact Naomi here.