I can remember when I was a child in grade school, my parents would attend the PTA 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.
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 as good as having character. Being a character is like being a clown, an actor of sorts. Having character involves morals and ethics.
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 Dale Carnegie, "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."
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.
~ Bob Perks
“The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay