Reputation takes a lifetime to build and moments to destroy.
There is this fearsome thing that keeps me, me.
I’ve learned this from a long time back, Steven told me about it. He said something like whatever we want, we can get, money, material stuffs, education, but there is one thing that is the most valuable, and yet most intangible. Our reputation.
What is a reputation?
I think it goes like something people regard you to be. Strictly speaking, it is difficult to put in words, but I think it has something to do with exactly that; word. The word we give, and the action that follows the word. In short, keeping promises.
We live in a life filled with turmoil, and unexpected twist and turn, well, that is what life is all about, there are no straight line in life. So more often than not, we will end up making well intended promises, but ended up not able to fulfill them, perhaps we over-promised, we are not grounded, or sometimes, the situation might change so much so we are no longer able to keep to our promise. Life’s like that, no choice.
But those promises we can make, and keep, is what makes us, people will know us for the promises we make, and keep, and of course, those we couldn’t. By and large, as long as we conduct our lives with earnest and grace, without resorting to manipulation or cheating, we ought to end up with a healthy social psyche.
As we all grow up, we will make promises, the most important deal we make, are those we make to ourselves. We have our own namesake in it. As long as we can do what we promise ourselves to do, and do it to our best ability, we shouldn’t care how the world judge us. Deep down inside of you, there will be a strong sense of right, and you wouldn’t care much about what other people think of you. The irony is that, when you start doing that, people’s opinion of you will change and you will begin to build your own reputation.
Making and breaking a Reputation
While part of what Steven said is true. Reputation by and large is formed by what other people thinks of you, it is also about what you do to yourself. Like I mentioned earlier, you keep the promises to yourself, you hold yourself accountable. There will be people who value that in you, there will be people who don’t. As long as you stick close to universally upright values and dogma, most of the time, people will have no bone to grind with you, and those who do, tends to have some problems themselves, it is not your fault. Work on bettering yourself, not bettering them so that they will have a better opinion about you. Trust me, I’ve tried that, it usually doesn’t work.
So find time to understand yourself better, when you fail, it is a promise broken, of some sort, use that as a learning lesson to make a better, more grounded promise to yourself. Reputation takes a lifetime to build and moments to destroy.
Marriage and My Dark Side
That said, I told Steven, that I honestly do not know how I will behave and become when I earn my first million, when I become affluent, in mind, in material. Or will I become corrupted, starts to womanise, become a bad father? Gamble? Get into vices? I told you boys I have that dark side, it is not the most pleasant part of ‘Randy’ I dared to delve in. I don’t usually go ‘there’ in my mind,as it is a scary place to be. So I really don’t know.
So one way I try at my best is to do what I can to keep to the promise I’ve made, to your mum and her father. Many, many things have happened in our marriage, and so far nothing has come close to undermining this union. I’m entirely sure about it in the future, many other things could happen. But it is all about making sure the word I say, correspond with the action. It is in the action, what we do that defines us. So when you get into a marriage, always remember, you must read those marriage vows, and make them actionable. Never fool yourself into twisting those words, manipulating them, to suit your own self centred agenda, when that happens, the whole world will look and knows the truth, you will be the only one deluding yourself.