Livin' purposely with possibilities and positivity

CHARACTER VS. REPUTATION: WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?

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Sometimes we must ask ourselves what is more important to us, our character or our reputation, maybe both. If we lived in the old British/ European way, a person’s reputation would be vital to our livelihood. Many people today would be ashamed because of how we live, and I would because I am an unmarried woman, and I have no kid of my own would probably be a problem. But we are not living in that era. Maybe we still live in that era, but we don’t care. You tell me!

The Oxford dictionary defines reputation as “the opinion people have about what somebody/something is like, based on what has happened in the past.” I ask why we judge people by their past deeds if life is a learning experience because we know what we know when we know it. Everybody’s maturity level is different; every day is a new one to begin again. John Wooden stated, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” A person’s actions dictate if they learn their lesson. Therefore, I instead look at someone’s character than their reputation.

What is Character? The Oxford dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”  

There are some good/positive character traits like:

Honesty
Compassion
Justice
Gratitude
Forgiveness
Kindness
Thoughtful
resilient
Empathy
Reliable

Negative/ bad Character traits are:

  • Dishonest
  • Cold-hearted
  • Ungratefulness
  • Resentment
  • Injustice
  • Unforgiving
  • Vindictive
  • Judgmental
  • Predatory
  • Hostile

Although figuring out someone’s character can be interconnected to a person’s reputation. People judge a person’s character over a long period, and you don’t see it until they are going through something or in some situation. But this is why all you need is to pay attention and trust what people are telling you, their behavior, and their actions because it’s them being their true selves. In life, you must reflect on people’s behaviors and reactions to certain situations. Because we all know not everyone in your life will be with you as you rise to the top.

Human beings can be harsh, especially when it concerns how we interact with other people. Sometimes we are judged because of the predicament we put ourselves in or problems that affect us. It is because of our family and friends’ issues, other issues created by society, our economy, government, and our justice system; because of that circumstance, we gain a reputation. Whether it is a reputation based on stereotypes that get put on us, rumors associated with people around you, or your behaviors, take note that you can step away from those people, change your behaviors, or don’t allow your circumstance to define you.

It is true that the people you associate with affect how people see you—your reputation is based on other people’s behaviors. So, YES! Be careful with who you hang out with; as you level up, not everyone will be with you for the ride!

You must figure out who you are and where you see yourself in five years. Or, what does your life look like in five years?

I believe people should forgive people in their life, whether they deserve it or not! Because forgiveness is for you, therefore why focus on someone’s reputation? Your past deeds make up your reputation, which is why It is best to focus on the now, so I will act accordingly to how you treat me today and in the future. I will be looking at your character, not your reputation.

An excellent way to build character is to:

  • Stay humble and modest. Being humble welcomes wisdom, whereas being modest allows one to care more for others.
  • Be purposeful. Live life purposely, deliberately, and full of honesty. Note to self that what tends to happen happens for a reason. It brings lessons in learning.
  • Make sure you hold yourself liable concerning your actions. Look to self. There is no one to blame for your actions but you. You always have a choice to act or not to act, even take no action because that is still a choice. Accept your choice. If you don’t like the outcome, choose again until you get it right.
  • Exercise self-restraint. There will be times when taking the shortcut seems like the right thing to do, but when taking the short cut sometimes you walk on someone’s blind side, and they do not see you. Taking the long road teaches you lessons and the ability to see and do what you need to know.
  • Live by your morals and virtues.   As you grow older, you must decide if your teaching is what you still believe. You must dig deep and figure it out because it teaches you who you are.

If you haven’t learned anything, know that a person’s character is sexy. A person’s character allows you to open your heart and feel secure. The poet Robert Browning states, “Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity; these are its sign and note and character.”  Therefore, go with character.

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