“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while reputation is merely what others think you are”.
For me, this happens to be an issue of great mark. We all live in a world where each one of us is on pins and needles about how people see us, how people judge us; a world where people would do anything for the sake of maintaining that image in the eyes of others.
We all are conscious about our reputation. We all must perpetuate, we must keep going, we must stay at the top at any cost, come what may. Do whatever you can do for this, lie if you can, pretend if you can, but always look the best in the eyes of others…!! Have a top-notch and “sans- pareil” image in front of others, always..!!
Yeah, it happens everywhere. Most of us have this kind of mindset. It even happens with me. I’m a regular school going girl, who is academically good. I usually come first in my exams. But then, I have to maintain this position. I can’t afford to come even second in my class. I have to maintain my hard-earned reputation, come what may. Unnecessary competition magnifies just to be at the top. Take an example of political parties, who fiddle with the elections, just to prove that they are incomparable..!!
At times I’ve been disappointed to learn people weren’t who I thought they were. People are not real because they are concerned about what others will say. People are dying secretly and living a double standard life because of this. People live false lives; they live pretentious lives just because they have to look good.
“Character is who you really are. Reputation is who people think you are.”
A speaker made this statement recently and I’ve been pondering over it since. I’ve heard character defined as “who you are when no one’s looking.” Experience tells me these statements are true because too often I’ve discovered the public face people present is not always an accurate reflection of who they are in private. In other words, what you see – or think you see – isn’t always what you get.
The distinction between character and reputation is particularly significant at this time of year as political candidates desperately seek to convince us of their worthiness to be elected. They are all putting their best face forward, enticing us with ready smiles, clever rhetoric, apparent concern and genuineness. They’re selling us an image. “Would I lie to you?” they all seem to be asking, sincerity oozing from their pores.
But that’s the problem: We really don’t know these people. We only know what we see – actually, what they’re willing to let us see. And their opponents are eager to make us believe what we think, we’re seeing, isn’t true at all.
Good character gives birth to a good reputation, but a good reputation does not ensure good character.
As I watch those aspiring for public office make bold promises, assuring me they are far more capable and better suited for office than their opponents, I think, “I hear their words and see their polished gestures and expressions, but wish I could see their heart.”
“Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; Character is what angels say about you before the throne of God.”
Ultimately, it’s not our pretentious part which is rewarded, but our real character.
This post was written as a response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for today.