Monday, November 24, 2014

Character Reputation

I was recently listening to a TED talk by John Wooden (which you can listen to here by the way), and he touches on the idea of character reputation. 'Your reputation is who you're perceived to be, your character is who you really are.' 
I did a small google search, and most of the articles were religiously focused, lots of Biblical references, and certainly not the perspective I was looking for. But it's such a nice quote, there really should be more content out there.
Anyhow, isn't our character what we strive to convey? Is not one of our biggest goals, as humans, to connect? We laugh and smile and frown and cry to connect with others. Because how do you know if anyone out here is truly feeling what you feel on the inside. Another great quote that essentially sums up what I'm thinking: “Our destiny is to become what we think, to have our thoughts become our bodies and our bodies become our thoughts.” - Terence McKenna 
But character is more than that. A character is the good and the bad. It's everything we're proud of and everything we regret. And in that sense, we will only portray what we want to be seen of our character. Is there something like a completely good character? No (character flaw, pun intended). But there's still a disconnect between what we want our reputation to be, and what it truly is. Because that lies beyond our grasp. And I think it's quite puzzling to think about, because even we cannot control who we are. How we are perceived is part of who we are, and it's totally up to others. But that makes this entire thing a loop-de-loop. Does your reputation effect who you are on the inside? Do we internalize the way we are portrayed, and as time goes on, turn into a middle person, where out reputation and character have merged, neither a distinct entity, each muddling the other? But what hurts me most is to think there are wonderful characters out there with horrible reputations, and the opposite holds true. Is not the best person he who can maintain his character, without either influencing his reputation nor being influenced by it, yet having them match up?
Then again, I just may be very tired, and it all may be very clear tomorrow morning.