Saturday, August 16, 2008

Character and Reputation

What you really are is your character; what people say about you is your reputation.

"Character is like a tree; reputation is like the shadow of a tree. "

What really matters is the tree itself, not the shadow of the tree. The shadow of the tree will change as the sun moves around the sky. If a tree wants to find itself from the shadow, it will be confused or totally lost. Because the shadow has different shape and size, and sometimes there is no shadow at all.

Remember, you are who you are. The praise from people will not increase you true value; the criticism will not diminish your true value. If the praise of people makes you be egotistical and overconfident, or if the criticism of people makes you lower your self-esteem, you are not yourself anymore.

Reputation is important; character is more important. Don’t let reputation manipulate you. You should always remember the standpoint you take and the belief you choose.

"Heavy snow presses on the pine tree; the pine stands more straight. If you want to know how noble the pine is, wait until the snow thaws." General Chen Yi's poem shows his unyielding character.

Adversity is the best testbed for character. Mean people can deceive others for a while, but they can not fool people all the time. Keep on who you are, people will find out your character finally.

The side effect of reading too much is that a good phrase pops up, you don't remember who said it, but you are sure not from you.

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