13.04.2018 Feature Article

Character Over Charm

The AuthorThe Author
13.04.2018 LISTEN

Packaging attracts you to buy a product. However, what you really need is the content of that product. Regardless of how expensive the packaging may be, the content of every good product should be more expensive. Content is the need. Packaging is only a want. Content is of more priority than packaging.

Charm is the packaging. Character is the content. Charm is what attracts you. Character is what keeps you. Charm is what you see. Character is what you’d need to observe to see. Charm is what we have. Character is what we are. Charm is cheap, hence, fleeting. Character takes time to build, hence, permanent.

Charm is like an edifice built on the lowland. Character is that edifice built on a rock. It will take only one rainy season to tell the difference between these two edifices. It doesn’t cost much to have charm. However, you will need your all to earn a robust character!

No good manufacturer will spend more on their packaging than the content of their product. If you want to keep your clients closer, you invest into the content more than the packaging. In the same breadth, no client will buy a product just because of its packaging. Innately, what every client needs is the good content of every product!

Marriage is like a product. When you’re due for choosing a life partner, charm should not be your only focus. Always remember that their packaging is fleeting. What will stay when everything has left is their character. What you’d need to contain when all the excitement of the butterflies in the stomach has died down… is who they truly are.

If many had paid a little more attention to the character of someone they thought was a life partner, they wouldn’t have ended up in a tug-of-war at divorce courts. If they had not been clouded by the mere beauty or handsomeness of their spouses, they wouldn’t have gotten stuck in a “happily-never-after” marriage.

Beauty is vain. If your topmost priority of a would-be-bride is their light skin, you have already pre-signed your divorce papers. If all you look out for in a potential husband is their height or “six-packs”, you’re stabbing your own future. What keeps a relationship is foresight and insight… not height!

When the storms of life begin raging, “six-packs” can’t solve them but wisdom will. When responsibilities start piling up and you both may need to complement each other, it will have nothing to do with a polished face… but have everything to with a polished mind.

Life will always come back with tests to ask us why we chose our spouses. Our reason(s) will be laid bare. If it was for beauty, we will fail. We may want to cheat because no one looks 25 forever no matter how well they take care of themselves. We may want to jilt them at the least chance because age will cage them. Times will change but what will remain constant is who people really are― their character!

Times without number, many make the choice of a life partner based on the packaging instead of the content… unfortunately. They want society to appreciate them for having a classy taste. In their bid to please others, they displease their own selves. Listen. Society will only see beauty but you will stay with character.

Pay attention to who they are on the inside… not outside. Keep a close eye on how they think. Our thoughts are a mirror of our character. Pay attention to their priorities. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes. Don’t gloss over what they say about others or how they talk to them. Pay attention to their sense of integrity. Who they really are is a sum total of all such.

Character should always be the priority of every relationship. Who people are on the inside is what we should fall for… not what they have on the outside. A well of love built on a foundation of character never runs dry. A couple whose love for each other is based on their character is almost inseparable because when everything has faded, character still remains.

Every bachelor and spinster prepping for marriage should intermittently ask themselves why they chose their supposed life partner. They should make a priority list and know what emerges topmost. If it is anything but character, they should rethink their decision f marriage. Beauty is vain and charm is always fleeting. Fame fades and wealth dwindles. What remains constant has always been character.

If beauty were to be a car, character would have been its fuel. Without fuel, a car is only another useless toy. It is great to want to marry a charming young man or woman. However, it is a red flag if that charm is without good character. Such a marriage would soon need to ‘park’ because there would be no fuel to run it!

Dreaming of marrying a fashionable young woman is great. However, be reminded that regardless of how thick the foundation of their makeup is, it can’t cover up a bad attitude. It’s okay if you’d die on the cross for a bearded man. Note, however, that when marital headaches start brewing, they can’t hide in his beard!

Time will fade one’s beauty but will only make their character more pronounced. That’s why character should always be considered ahead of charm. When all has been said and done, don’t regret buying a product whose packaging was more expensive than its content. Don’t be shortchanged in marriage because you were deluded by some temporary feeling called looks.

Focus on character, not charm. Cheers!
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (, a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is this June at National Theatre.