Do you think about your reputation? We may have "a reputation" on many different levels. There is the reputation based on morals and integrity. Related to this is reputation based on behavior and dependability. Some of us may have a reputation of being the life of the party while others may have a reputation of being shy and withdrawn. Our reputation may vary from one circle to the next based on demeanor, ability, or even appearance. Sometimes reputation can make us or break us.
When I was a teenager I recall how my parents would often remind my sister to be careful not to ruin her reputation. I don't really recall ever receiving this admonishment myself. Young men were given a certain amount of crazy space because they were guys, but girls who engaged in certain behaviors were at risk of gaining a bad reputation. It was important not to be "that kind of a girl".
Later, as we moved on from school to the world of work and careers, we would begin developing our professional reputations. We might have a reputation for always being late or being sloppy in our work, or we might have a reputation for being the go-to person to get a job done or a person who would go far in the world. Some of us cultivated and guarded our reputations, while others didn't care.
In the first century B.C, Publilius Syrus made the observation, "A good reputation is more valuable than money." This has been the case throughout the centuries and even to this day to a great extent it does remain true in most circles. However there has been a disturbing trend for certain people to capitalize on their bad reputations. The romantic notoriety of certain criminals in the past has not been uncommon, but the wrong was recognized as these individuals met their ill-fated consequences. The recent decades have given rise to a class of thuggery and misbehavior in entertainment personalities, sports figures, and politicians. This type of behavior which in the past might have been the downfall of a public figure is now often treated with a wink and a lame excuse and at times even as expected behavior, while these figures reap a generous living based on the acceptance of their bad behavior.
Then there are those whom we expect to have higher standards who are caught in their indiscretions and yet come out unscathed after their time in the limelight going through treatment and public apologies. Some of them exit the ordeal with reputations sullied and end up paying for their improper behavior with unpleasant consequences. This is how it rightfully should be: Bad reputations should face negative consequences while good reputations should be rewarded. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
What kind of reputation do you try to cultivate for yourself? What steps do you take to shape your public image? Do you impress the importance of reputation on your children? If you are a writer, do you consider the reputation of your characters and, if so, how do you show this reputation?
In blogging you have probably run across many types of other bloggers to whom you have attached a certain blogger reputation. What are some of the qualities that you would associate with a bad blog reputation? A good blog reputation? In the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge you have probably come upon many bloggers who have a very good reputation as far as you are concerned. In your May 3rd post you might want to give special recognition to some of the bloggers whom you held in high esteem and tell us why they had a good reputation in your eyes.
I hope you visit Tossing It Out everyday, but I hope you will make a special point of stopping by next Tuesday April 27th when my topic for the letter W is What's Next.