So many teenagers I know are so concerned about how their viewed, that character doesn’t even matter to them anymore. I believe that you should be more concerned about your character than your reputation.
Reputation is what others think you are or what they think about you. Anyone can make themselves seem like something they’re not. Hanging out with people that you have nothing in common with, but you’re just doing it for show and doing things that you usually wouldn’t do is an example of this.
There’s a story I know about this girl who wasn’t very well known at her High school. She didn’t have many friends, and everyone enjoyed making fun of her. When her foot was broken and she used a crutch, and these group of boys thought it would be funny to play keep away with it. The boy;s friend walked in who was very popular at the school. All of them thought he would join in with them, but instead he went up to his friend, took the crutch, and gave it to the girl while apologizing for their actions. No one thought he would do this.
Character is not necessarily who people think you are, but character is what you really are. It shows people your true personality, what really matters to you, and what your like.
Courage can play a huge role in this. Being true to your own character takes courage. It’s hard in high school to be different. It takes nerve to break away from what the norm is, or what everyone else is into. It takes guts to stand out knowing that others might make fun of you. But that is the definition of your true character.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
This belief statement of mine is important to me on many different levels. I like showing people who I really am, and what my personality is like. I don’t like it when people think of me as something I’m not. And I don’t like how most people only care what others think of them, and set aside who they really want to be. This is why I believe in character over reputation.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.