This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


            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  Some of us may have a reputation of being the life of the party while others may have a reputation of being shy and withdrawn.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.


  1. I like to have a good reputation by helping others if and when needed. I wouldn'tlike the reputation of being a trouble maker though I speak my mind which don't go down well with some poeple.
    We are are different in our make up so what is a good reputation with one person may notbe so to another,
    Enjoyed the read as always Lee.
    Have a good day.

  2. What IS next? I can't wait to see!
    You are the glue that has bound us all!
    And your reputation is flawless in BlogLand. Thanks!

  3. Reputation is very important.

    In reading blogs I've only come across one writer blog that I would consider to have a bad reputation.

    The funny thing is that I still go read it.

  4. I do try to maintain my moral level in all things I do, including blogging. I think consistency is important.

  5. Ooh, a character's reputation? Hadn't thought about it, but it would certaily enrich a story!

  6. Yvonne -- I think you have established a very good reputation among those who are familiar with your blog and I would imagination that you are as nice in your everyday life as you come across in your comments and posts.

    Rae -- "Flawless"? That's a might encompassing order, but thank you for saying.

    Matthew -- oooo, you've got me curious. I wonder if it's any of the ones I could be thinking of? Most of the bloggers are pretty decent I think.

    Alex -- I think you are very correct about consistency. Part of a reputation involves feeling that you know what to expect and that the person pretty consistently fulfills those expectations. It's especially heartening when you see a person with a bad reputation surprise our expectations by doing something really good.

    Will -- Some stories are focus on the topic of reputations, but I think in others reputation is not overtly considered.

    Karen -- When you've built up a good reputation, I think sometimes people are more sympathetic and listen more if you vent because now your ranting seems more relevant and important. But continual whiners usually become somewhat dismissed and just gain a negative reputation. I'd say you have a pretty good reputation among us bloggers and have the right to rant sometimes.

  7. I am just me on my blog, I don't behave any better or worse when I am blogging because that would not be "real"..I have come across a few blogs that I wouldn't visit again just because of the language, but other than that I haven't found any bad reputations that I know of. I think my reputation is one of respectfulness, helpfulness, encouragement, inspiration, I'm a nice person who wants to be help to others. I have had bad days here and there but still manage to be nice in all my blogging and commenting! Arlee your a wonderful blogger with a great reputation...

  8. Great topic for the letter R. Reputation is almost expunged from our culture. It seems that repuation or character doesn't count for much as long as I am not hurt and getting what I think is coming to me. We see this in the political world all the time, the issue was not Bill Clinton's character, but what can he do for me. The otherside is no different in many aspects.

    Our culture is attempting to do something that cannot be done, and that is separate character or reputation from the person and their "contribution" to entitled mentality.

    For a pastor it is of the utmost important. To be selected and recognized as a pastor a man must have the highest moral character. He must be a leader and an example in "character and reputation."

    The qualifications are given in I Timothy and Titus. A man is selected to lead Gods' people not becasue He is gifted, charismatic, a motivator, a leader, sucessful, or dynamic. He is chosen because he exemplifies the character traits in those passages.

    Alas, even the "church" seems to have thrown out character & reputation when it selects men to lead.

    Character is of the utmost importance to me. Repuation is something to humbly, prayerfully, aspire to - even in the midst of the realizaton that sin taints everything that we do while we exist in this life. Our best prayers, best efforts, our best intentions are yet tainted with pride, self-centeredness, ego, etc.

    Thank God for His grace that He is constantly at work making us the men he wants us to be and secondly that his grace uses us even in our present state.

    You hit a tragic nail on its most horrifying head - it now seems people want the worst of character as leaders, icons, heros, and examples.

    The bad character of many have been capitalized upon beyond belief. The reason for that is people want to have their icons, hereos, and such today to be just like them. If our culture does not aspire to great character and reputation then we want people around us who are just like us.

    Great topic!

  9. >There is the reputation based on morals and integrity. Related to this is reputation based on behavior and dependability.<

    rLEE-b ~
    I think my reputation for “dependability” has recently taken a big hit.

    But the reputation that I think most about is “credibility.” I know that once a person has stated something important that is later found to be untrue, that is to say, once a person has lost credibility, it is difficult if not impossible to regain it. For that reason, I am always very careful about bold statements, and I avoid making them until I feel I have done sufficient research that victory in a public disagreement is nearly guaranteed.

    I don’t make an important statement without the facts to back it up. And that is why I do not fear debate. If I’m saying it, it’s because I’m convinced I can defend it.

    >It was important not to be "that kind of a girl".<

    Well, I think that’s STILL important. If there is any reputation I am more concerned about preserving than my “credibility”, it’s that I am NOT “that kind of a girl”!

    >next Tuesday April 27th when my topic for the letter W is What's Next.<

    What’s Next? I think it’s a “question mark” – like this: ?
    But I acknowledge that it doesn’t have to be.

    ~ “Lonesome Dogg” McWiseguy

  10. Hmm. I do think about this a lot. I wear so many hats--mom, doc, writer, and I can't have them clash with each other in a bad way.

  11. Shannon -- I would expect a blog to pretty accurately reflect what the blog author is like in real life. And thank you for your kind words.

    Gregg -- you said very well many more things that I was thinking. That comment could have been your post on the same topic, it was that good and that important in content.

    McWiseGuy-- I think your dependibility remains intact, after responsibility is equally important and you explained yourself well. And I agree about credibility-- if a person does make a mistake or misstatement, they should own up to it and try to correct it rather than passing the blame or making poor excuses as is so often done. And I don't know---if you had been a girl, would you have been that kind of girl? I shudder to think.

    Lydia -- You're right-- character should be consistent in all parts of one's life. Many celebs try to be "bad" in one arena and then attempt to act all goody-goody in another and I think it sends confusing mixed messages with strain that person's credibility.

  12. After Bill Clinton, who could be bad!

  13. Reputation. Humm...
    a quote from Ben Franklin:
    "If you'd not be forgotten,
    as soon as you're rotten,
    write something worth reading,
    or do someething worth the writing."
    What will the next (and the Next) generation think of us?

  14. Ah, the reputation. I think it's important, because it's something that is incredibly difficult to change. Incredibly difficult and takes a long time.

    I always tell my kids, "All you have is your name. Make sure it stands for something good."

  15. I think that having a good reputation is very important but I really don't think about it much at all when I am home. It's only when I step out in the public that I give it any thought. I guess it all depends on how we were raised. If we are initially taught right from wrong from the start, and practice it, then the good reputation should just follow suit.
    Interesting thoughts Arlee!
    Love Di ♥

  16. Good reputation is best built by following the Golden Rule. It applies to blogging as much as anywhere in life, my opinion.

    Enjoyed this post. :)

  17. Ocean Girl -- Yes our former president is an oft cited example.

    Carol-- I wonder. Maybe they will be worse, but sometimes the pendulum swings back in the other direction.

    Elana -- good advice for your kids, my kids, and me.

    Diana -- of course if you stay home too much you might gain the reputation of being a hermit or eccentric. We all have some sort of reputation if we are known by others even in the least. But yes I know what you're saying. It amazes me how some people appear in public places without any regard to what others might think of their appearance.

    Beth-- Yes, it's good to remember.

    Marvin -- you are very right. I have often espoused that same opinion and I picked this up from other bloggers like you.

  18. What a great post! I was just thinking how varied everyone's R posts were. I don't think anyone else thought of reputation. We should all give thought to our reputations.

  19. Reputation hmm That's an interesting one to think about. I don't think I've run across any bloggers in this challenge that I would say have a bad reputation.

    Though you are right about these days being all about the bad behavior. Some think any press is good press. I tend to think if it's bad press than I wouldn't want negative energy bombarding any associations with me.

  20. Great post... reputation is important!

  21. Sometimes we can be "PROUD" of our reputation, then we can lose sight of what it means to be open and honest before God and man.

    God does remind us in Proverbs "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold." Proverbs 22:1 (Sounds like Publilius Syrus was reading proverbs...LOL)

    If we truly love like Jesus, then a good reputation will surely follow. But then again, don't expect the world to like it.

    But there are the pitfalls of thinking ourselves "good people." We are simply all sinners in need of the Savior. Nothing more nothing less. No matter what our reputation, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever (no matter what your reputation) believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

    Lee makes some good points.

    Be blessed. Be a blessing.
    DJ GlenMC

  22. Hi,Lee, I'm late getting to this this evening, but recognize no less that it is so very important a subject. I believe that a person should always do their very best to keep a promise. This is a special part of a person's reputation, because I was taught that a person's word is their bond. I believe that we build our reputation by the way we live and the way people can believe what we do, as much as what we say. I always am the same regardless of where I am or what I do. I am just me, and one can tell what I am thinking by what is on my face. My face is like an open book. Ha. Our mom and dad taught all of us to be responsible for whatever we do. I really enjoyed your posting today. Thank you so very much for the thought that you put into your postings.

  23. What a good thought-provoking post. Reputation mean a lot to me - and maybe, somewhere in the back of my head, I'm conscious of it, even on my blog.

  24. Cheri -- That's what I like about this challenge-- for any given letter we get 80 or so different approaches. So much to read!

    Marjorie -- I agree that all of those in this challenge have fine reputations.

    Jen -- yes it is!

    Glen -- You are right. Reputation is merely how we are viewed in the eyes of men. But our utmost desire should be pleasing to God.

    Grammy -- In many ways the parents of our generations tried to instill more of a sense of accountability and responsibility in us. Somewhere between then and now some of this started getting twisted so that these days a lot of the values are much different.

    Jaydee -- Thank you for visiting. I look forward to getting to know you better.

  25. I want to have the reputation of a Proverbs 31 woman. I desire this more everyday. A woman who loves and serves Christ and others with all her heart.

    As to the reputation of the other bloggers -- you're right -- opinions have been formed. Good ones! :)

    Have a blessed evening my friend!

  26. I think about people's trust in me more than reputation. But maybe trust and reputation are similar. I want people to find me honest, my writing honest and true to who I am. I want people to know me as loyal and a woman of her words. :)

  27. Lisa -- the reputation to which you aspire is indeed a good and lofty one.

    Tabitha -- a reputation consists of many attributes. Trust, honesty, and loyalty are all attributes of a good reputation.

  28. Reputation to me is everything. I care about what others think about me but more important how I think of myself.
    I've only run into one really horrible blogger whose reputation was to use her blog as an avenue to talk badly about people she didn't like. Her blog was a mix of bad taste and constant bragging on her kids and husband.
    No she's not with our alphabet gang.

  29. Debra -- I'm glad that bad blogger is among us A to Zers. Only good reputations wanted here.
    A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

  30. great post. Reputation is serious business, even though we often act as if it isn't. We notice its loss when we lose it.

  31. This really gives us a lot to mull over! I try to have a good reputation; In blog land I have only run across one blog that left a bad taste in mouth(not in the A-Z challenge). There was too much bragging, look at me type.

    You bring up great points; I so agree with people not always getting the response and/or punishment they are due. I remember people in high school with a bad reputation. I spoke with them and found out, sometimes it was false. It was some one popular throwing someone else in front of the bus, must of been a wanna be politician.

    I am pretty much what you see is what you get. I wear my emotions on my face for the most part. I try to keep my promises, but sometimes, I have failed. I make up for it, but sometimes sickness, dead car batteries, etc get in the way. I am glad you tossed this out there~

  32. The amusing thing about creating an online presence is that one is free to be whatever one wishes. I'm starting to lose track of the number of blog friends who're sparkling personalities online, but claim to be borderline hermits in real life. I find it strange, a little, but I understand how freeing it can be to interact without interpersonal angst muddying the waters.

    That said, I MIGHT present myself as snarkier, ornerier, and harder-drinking than I am in real life. Or not. I'll let that remain a mystery. (Until a blog friend meets me in real life. Then they can write an expose.) :)

  33. I think Abraham Lincoln had the concept of reputation nailed down when he said, "Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." I strive to be the "tree" - the rest takes care of itself.

  34. Lynda -- You are so right about that!

    Ellie -- the word I get in the blogosphere is that you have a pretty darn good reputation.

    Simon -- You are so right about that! There can be a lot of hype in the cyberworld. On the whole I think most of the bloggers are pretty true to who they are, but someone really could create any type of persona they wanted and who would really know?

    Paula -- yes! I want to be the tree. The shadow changes according to how the light is shining upon the tree.


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