PRISON OF A GOOD REPUTATION

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DEFINITION OF REPUTATION

Reputation is an opinion about someone or something based on their actions or how they conduct or present themselves in public.  It can be good or bad, depending on public perceptions.  It is a status assigned to you by people, and not who you are.

DOES IT MATTER WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOU?

Does it matter to you what people think about you?  Would you rather do the right thing and considered stupid, or  do something stupid and considered intelligent?  Would you’ let a person suffer when you can help just to avoid being associated with him/her and considered stupid.  Do you always think about people’s opinion before acting, or do what ought to be done?

Many people are caught up in the prison of a good reputation, making them vulnerable.  They allow themselves to be blackmailed or manipulated, and end up doing the worst things that are against their moral and ethical values.

STIGMAS AND REPUTATION

Stigmas are assigned to people, like mental health stigma, single status, widow, having been in prison, poverty, cultural or religion stigma, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  Would you rather be a best friend, mother, sister, brother, and have everyone think you’re the worst friend, mother, sister or brother?  Or would you rather be the world’s worst friend, mother, sister or brother but have everyone think you’re the world’s greatest friend, mother, sister or brother?

I have witnessed churches banning good Ministers because of their status or beliefs, parents disowning their children, especially those with mental disorders, disabilities, lesbians, gay, bisexuals, or transgender.  All in the name of a good reputation.  These are people who need our love and support, but they are often rejected. Most of them are kind and intelligent.   Would you rather miss having a good friend, brother, son or daughter and applauded for promoting a stigma attached to anyone of these people, or be in their network, know them better and indulge in their wisdom, and be labelled with the same stigma?

ATTACHMENT SLAVERY

Good reputation has a lot to do with attachment, the desire to belong to a particular structure.  Then do things as expected by members of that structure without questions,   Some people’s lives depend absolutely on what people think of them, on whether they would cooperate with them or banish them from the group or structure.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Countries sign agreements to impose sanctions to other countries deemed to have poor governance, turning a blind eye on citizens who might suffer, in order to maintain their status within their unions.  They refrain from supporting countries which needs International Aid, isolate them, instead of extending a hand on humanitarian grounds, and help those countries turnaround their situation.  They do this because they don’t want to disturb the order and considered noncooperative.  They may be considered powerful, but their acts are hostile.

APPLAUSE ARE NOT A MEASURE OF SUCCESS

Applause are not always a measure of success.  Most of the time people criticize you, not because your performance is bad, or you doing something wrong.  They may criticize you because of jealous.  Public perception has little to do with the quality of your work, or who you are – they don’t make you better or worse.

What is important is how you see yourself, rather than how the world evaluates you.  As a child you learn what your parents emphasis on, and I doubt any parent would emphasize on what the world is going to think about you.

OPINIONS ARE NOT FACTS

Sometimes opinions are based on gossip, and those gossips can be lies.  Frequently people misrepresent themselves.  It is therefore very wrong to make decisions based on public opinion,  rather than facts.

The opinion of other people about you is far less significant than you can imagine.  Whether they are praising you or dragging your name through the mud, the actual impact on your life is considerably smaller than your pride or sense of shame would have you believe.  Avoid emotional blackmail.  Reputation stresses you, and is detrimental to your wellbeing.

DESIRE TO BE RECOGNIZED

Social media is a powerful platform to network, and share information.  But it is used a lot to promote gossip and lies.  It is used to spread wrong rumors about people.  Social media has actually created a culture where people turned into brand managers, and misrepresent themselves.  People do as they like.  They will write about you, they will tweet about you, they will post about you in whatever way pleases them.

People will gossip about you behind your back, and you can’t control that.  You don’t have to worry yourself about things you can’t control.  Don’t compete with them, trying to settle scores.  You don’t need to clarify anything.  Don’t crave recognition, you may pay a very high price for that.

Often teenagers fall into this trap.  They succumb to peers pressure, and do things against their will, but they do these things so that they can be recognized, applauded for bravery or being cool.  Some begin to do drugs, smoke, drink alcohol, have sex.  They end up ruining their future.  The price they pay include having babies before they are ready to do so, and live with this responsibility for the rest of their lives.  Some find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and end in jail.  They later feel sorry, live with regrets.  They may even end up with cognitive symptoms.

Don’t do anything to please other people.  It doesn’t matter what they say about you.  Rather be considered stupid, coward, slow or boring.  Some people will say you don’t have a life.  That too is OK, than doing something that you going to regret later, and blame yourself for your entire life.  Resist all sorts pressure, don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.  It is ok to live alone, and be safe.  What is really important is how you feel about yourself. So continue doing things that make you feel good.  Liberate yourself out of the prison of a good reputation, and be stress free.

8 Comments

  1. Hello Sandikazi :), 

    thanks for such a mind blowin post on being a prison of a good reputation. 

    I really could relate to some of the points you made especially on what people think about me. I am trying to live life without having to seek validation from everyone. Seeking validation from everyone would live you stuck and suffering in a mental hole created only for you.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for reading my article, and for your input.  Free yourself from that bondage, and live a good life.  Life is short, exactly like the dash between your date of birth and date of death on your tombstone.  

      Be blessed,

      Sandikazi

  2. I really enjoyed reading this article.
    I believe we should all strive to achieve the highest standards of personal and professional integrity. Do as you would be done by, not how you necessarily are done by. How we respond or react when someone’s behaviour towards us is less than desirable is also a measure of our own integrity. 

    1. Hi Richard,

      Thank you for stopping by, and for your input.  I totally agree with you.  

      Be blessed,

      Sandikazi

  3. Hello Sandikazi,

    If we think deeply then we can see that most of the people in the whole world run for a good reputation. We all know that a good reputation is necessary for our social life. A good reputation is good on the other hand it has some bad effects also. Just an example you are good everyone tries to make you down if that time you shout every one says you are bad. Really a good reputation is as like as a prison and you can’t do anything. I am never thought deeply about a good reputation but when I read your article then I can understand now the time for think about it. Turelly I love your article. I refer my all friends and relatives to read your article. Can you help me to know more on this topic?

    Thanks for such an amazing and helpful article.

    1. Hi Khobayer,

      Thank you for your comment.  I highly appreciate your time and input.  A good reputation is indeed not a bad thing, but what I’m emphasizing is that you have to do what makes you feel good as a person, not seek validation from other people.  Do what ought to be done, and refrain from trying to please people.  How many abusers are misrepresenting themselves in public while they treat their partners badly.  How many drug lords are applauded for good reputation, while they secretly killing the fibre of our future – the youth.  Public opinion often belittle or ridicule just actions.  Some opinions are based on jealous.  It’s OK to be ashamed, or your name dragged through mud for a good cause, and people shouldn’t allow themselves to be manipulated.

      Thank you,

      Sandikazi

  4. Hello Sandikazi,

    Thank you very much for this useful post! It is a very actual topic as also in our country a lot of people are very (negatively most times) affected by rumours from media and social networks.

    I have to admit I was the person, who really care about other people thoughts, however, due to the later experience I become a different person (since my age of 28), which really use own brain to make opinions about almost all topics and almost every day I am happy for that.  I see every day there is a lot of lies in media and social networks and we are facing manipulation greatly, now more than earlier (or I did not feel this so much earlier).

    Therefore I consider your insight very useful and important so people realise how much they depend on the opinion of the other and although they will face some negative reaction of their family or friends they start to reveal what they really want and feel and do not fear to show it (in some normal way, of course).

    Thank you very much for your post and I am looking forward to your new post.

    Bye Renata

    1. Hi Renata,

      Thank you for stopping by.  It’s much appreciated.  I am happy to hear that you freed yourself from the bondage of other people’s opinions, which can be hostile.

      Be blessed.

      Sandikazi

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