The modern markers of change are all around us. As the rate of change rapidly increases in the developed world, some qualities of life are bound to suffer as some get better. A lot of it’s related to how much the speed of living seems to increase.
For example, now shininess is becoming more valued than patina. Shiny is new, while a patina is acquired with time, time most people don’t have anymore.
The same can be said about having a lifestyle over a life, seeking out fast food over slow food, and trying to drink from the fire hose of information instead of acquiring knowledge by the glassful as you need it.
What about the difference between personality and character. People seem to be more attracted to personality than character now. It takes time to discern someone’s character, but personality is right in your face.
Look at Paula Deen, the TV cooking diva. Paula has lots of personality, she’s loud, southern, and outgoing like a friendly neighbor. It’s easy to see why certain folks might be attracted to her.
But what about her character? Not too long ago she announced she’s had diabetes for some time. My guess is that it’s from her shockingly unhealthy cooking, eating, and compounded by also being too short for her weight.
I don’t know how long she knew about her condition, but it has to have been for a while. During that time she continued exuberantly promoting her personal brand of damaging health practices.
She came forward with her condition after receiving an endorsement deal from a drug company with a diabetes treatment she uses.
You could say that ethics is what someone does when no one’s watching, how someone with character would behave. There’s lots of fodder here for speculation about how Paula mishandled her public life, but at a minimum Paula is a current example of personality trumping character.