Thursday, February 17, 2011

off the mark

.
.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Reputation, and subsequently: Belief. At first, the two might not seem to fit together, but as things shift and the reputation in question is yours, somehow “belief” is a word that becomes more and more prevalent in the mind. The thing is, in certain circles, my “reputation” has recently moved away from reality, and the only reason it is that way is because there are some who have chosen to believe things without really knowing them – or in other words, they have chosen to believe things without really knowing me. Typically, the separation between truth and reputation happen in places like school classrooms, office corridors, social clubs, church groups, and other public-persona venues. Words like “reputation” are not used within family or immediate friendship circles, because when we get close to a person, their reputation is no longer important; we know them, not just what has been said about them. Or in other words: what has been said is no longer important in the face of what is true.

The trouble comes, though, in those bastard public venues. What is a girl to do when her reputation, in any sense of the word, gets twisted by surreptitious onlookers? What can she say? Not much, unfortunately, especially when enough people have chosen to view you through the lens of false certainty. And this is where the word “belief” comes into play: more often than not, I have found that people will believe the things they hear the most, not necessarily the things that are true. We see this in the media all the time, in the glossed lives of celebrities, or the adverts for the latest nutrition craze; research on the part of the common man is missed. Why research? It’s been said 100 times. But just as I believe we would all do well to examine the health effects of diet fads on our own time (instead of jumping into them because they’re popular), so do I believe that a person should not be marked by reputation alone; because more often than not, that “reputation” is misleading. The onus is not on others to clear their own name; the onus is on us, to keep their names clear in the first place.

If only we would seek to understand those who’ve been marred by public opinion, instead of simply drinking the Kool-Aid and swallowing wholeheartedly, when we aren’t even sure what’s in the cup. Anyone will look how we want them to – that part’s easy – the trick is to see people how they are, instead.
.
.

1 comment:

Mama said...

This is so well said. It's the age-old, sickening need that people have to puff themselves up at someone else's expense. But when we judge others we say much more about ourselves than who we're judging.