“Character is like a tree and reputation is like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing,” these are the words of Abraham Lincoln. Said in another manner; one’s reputation is the commonly held opinion or belief of a person. One’s reputation is in the hands of others and not within that person’s control. However, an individual’s character is within their control.
Multiple times in every person’s life they will be unjustly defamed. When it occurs it is very difficult to encounter and depending on their fortitude it can weaken their resolve. I have witnessed rumors temporarily corrupting the reputation of good and principled people. I have seen people behave in accordance to the rumors; not permanently but for a time, because rumors are destructive. In other words, the rumor was first and their behavior followed suit. Perhaps it was a subliminal thing or maybe they just lacked self-confidence, valuing the opinions of others more than themselves. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve observed such behavior. For this reason I recognize gossip to be malicious and one’s reputation to be subjective; based on opinion rather than fact.
I recall growing up ever so self-conscious of my actions. My mother had instilled such fears, causing me to worry about my reputation. I was afraid that I would be misunderstood and forever scorned because things were never as they seemed. I always valued (and still do value) the feelings of others over how it made me look. No one was better than or less than myself, even if our values didn’t line up. They say it’s easier for a woman to defend her virtue against men than her reputation against women. Perhaps that is true, especially when one such woman is my mother.
Character will always be more important than a reputation, even though character has become difficult to define. In our 21st century world there are nearly no moral absolutes, but rather rationalizations which are attempts to justify behavior, action or attitude with plausible or false explanation. Nonetheless I believe one must be true to oneself to be of authentic character.
Hopefully you won’t lose any sleep wondering about your reputation. Reputations will continue to be made by many acts but can be lost by one. I hope you can find solace in the words of Thomas Paine, “Reputation is what men and women think of us: character is what God and angels know of us.” And who are we trying to impress anyway, man or God?
This weekend is the Towne and Country Players performances of Mamma Mia and the North Star Picnic.
Thursday and Friday, July 25-26 will be the Versailles (Modern Mothers) Community Garage Sales. Maps of participating locations can be found at Johns IGA, Worch Library and the village offices.
Our retirement announcement: Steve and I have sold our flower shop to Connie Cox and her twin daughters, Rachel Weiss and Rebecca Scott. We know they will carry the torch brighter and higher than ever before. We wish them the best, hope everyone buys lots of flowers from them and we thank everyone for all the love and support they have given us during our 23 years of owning House of Flowers, Tuxedos & Gifts. Steve and I now enter into the next phase of our life. Wish us luck.
For the record Steve and I are looking forward to spending time in our house. As business owners we never really lived in it. Also, Steve will continue to play cards at the Versailles Eagles and I will continue to instruct yoga and SilverSneakers® classes at the Versailles and Greenville YMCAs, as well as A Soothing Touch Massage on Main Street, Versailles. Perhaps I’ll see you in one of my classes. 😉
Happy 86th birthday to Dennis Monnin, also birthday wishes to Mary Buxton, Diane Kunk, Dan Smith, Irene Murphy, Mark Pleiman, Angel Borchers, Doug Myers, Issac Routt, Janice York, Dan Hoening, Noah Hayes, Ed Spencer, Teri Unger, Jared Lyons, Lisa Berning, Ron Poling, Jon Baker, Devin Langston, Chelsea McGlinch, Cindy Eilerman, Diane Schrader Patty Jenkinson, Shelley Kaiser, Stacie Dirksen, Barb Hart, Judy Pepple, Emily Barton, Brandon Koverman, Kane Epperly, Kaleb Miller, Jayden Delancey, Bethany Ahrens, Krista Jones, Laura and Sonya Frantz, Aaron Moran, Karen Dues, Jane Smith, Magdalena Richard, Lisa Voisard, Colleen Post, Judi Grow, Clinton Randall, Gary Pierron, Dan Smith, Diane Kunk, Mary Adkins, and Deb Barhorst as their birthdays approach. Anniversary wishes to Mandy and Kyle Naugle (1), Carrie and Bruce Borchers (12), Holly and Brad Holzapfel (18), Karen and Dave Friar (19), Beth and Doug Borchers (29), and Linda and Mike Rhoades (47).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially Alayna Henry, Ramona Nickol, Linda Davidson, Joan and Ron Homan, Anabelle Subler, Cyril Frantz, Julia Billenstein, Don Henry, Cali Groff, Janice Berger, Violet Bensman, Fr. John White, Aiden Myers and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, under medical care, and/or are in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends Max Smith (2), Thomas Higgins (78), Marcella Homan (84), and Treva Schmitmeyer (89). Also remembering the lives of Miren Wical, Leonard Bruns, Virginia Creager, Barbara Wagner, Barbara Grimes, Roger Pohl, Mary Kramer, John Penno, Donald Meier, Carolyn Long, Jackie Barlage, Mary Jean Wehrkamp, Dylan Williams, Nancy Brandt, Ruth Platfoot, Bud Bergman, Marie Kauffman, Bob Hahn, A.L. Smith, Sally Amspaugh, Harold Apple, Jack Wood, Nelson Barga, Red Elson, Don Beam, Alma Ehlers, Fredona Rethman, Viola Voisard, Florence Paulus and all those not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their recently passing nears.
“If you take care of your character your reputation will take care of you.” ~C. Edwards
We would like a reputation for generosity and we’d like to buy it cheap.
“Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never mended well.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at email@example.com or at . 937-423-0914 or landline 937-526-3764. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.