Quite a Character

I can remember when I was a child in grade school, my parents would attend the Parent Teacher Association meetings.   I stayed at home shaking in my boots, fearful of what my teachers had to say about me.

I don't know why.  Most of the time when they returned home, my father would say, "I asked how you were doing in class.  She said "Bob's a charmer." I'd smile and sigh with relief.

"You're quite a character, Bob," my mother would tell me.

So, for most of my life I thought being a character was the most important thing.

Being a "charmer" didn't hurt either.

Then one day when I had been much too long in adulthood, I heard someone talk about my reputation.

It wasn't very flattering.  Most likely truthful to some extent, but not something I'd want my parents to hear at PTA.

Being a charmer doesn't always work for good.

I also discovered that being a character isn't has good as having character.  Being a character is like being a clown, an actor of sorts.

Having character involves morals and ethics.

"What kind of reputation do I want?" I asked myself that day.

It was then I really grew up. (Well, almost)

You see, I began to spend way too much time worrying about my reputation.  During a discussion I was involved with one day, a man made a very strong point.  One that lit the fire and sparked the desire for me to make changes in my life.

He quoted, "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." - Dale Carnegie

That was it.  If one focuses on their character, one need not worry about their reputation.

Reputation is someone's interpretation of who they think you are.   How they see you is based on their judgments, prejudices, and personal experiences.

Like all other views and opinions in life, it all comes down to the way you see it, the way I see it and the way it is.

In regard to reputation, how do we define "the way it is?"

Simply by using some standard, some level of basic expectations in regard to morals and ethics.


Be of good character and worry not what others think.  For if anyone should think ill of a person of good standing and character, the fault lies with their judgment.

Still, I love being a charmer and quite a character sometimes.  It is the sunshine after the rain for someone who may be hurting or lonely.  It is the smile after the pain for someone who knows only sadness.

By the way... you look wonderful today!

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2007 (2believe@comcast.net) -- {used with permission} ]

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