As we grow older, we should learn that these are two quite different things. Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters. We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’,” Clearing the Ground (1986)
Added on 9-Mar-09 | Last updated 9-Mar-09
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