Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LAW 5: SO MUCH DEPENDS ON REPUTATION—GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE

People put so much importance on their reputation. To many, it is what makes or breaks them. It’s what gives them their identity.

Because we are beings that co-exist with others, their opinion of who we are is highly important. We feel good when others think positively of us, and we’d rather cease to exist when others have a negative opinion of us.

Initially, people form their reputations on an exterior basis. “First impressions”, if you will, start out this way. If you put on the right clothes, wear the right hairstyle, project a sterling image that makes them the stuff of envy and instantly, you have the best reputation; the kind of reputation that people would want to be associated with. It would take something really drastic, something really grave in order for this kind of reputation to grow tarnished through time.

Others establish their reputation by means of possessing a certain quality most others would like to have. You could be the class nerd who everyone looks up to for homework advice or the one who’s paper everyone looks at to cheat off, the gossip queen who knows the juiciest scoop on everyone, or the smooth-talker who can talk his or her way out of anything. With these attributes, unknowingly, a seeming shield or force field builds up around you. An atmosphere of respect, sometimes bordering on fear, is immediately attached to you.

This is why you have to be firm in your belief of yourself. The slightest hint of self-doubt gives your potential foes the license to disarm you.

When your good reputation is slandered, the easiest thing to do would be to brush it off with good humor. Appearing to be defensive will make you seem insecure and desperate rather than confident in your reputation. Making too much of an effort to defend your name will make people start wondering whether those rumors could actually be true. When laughing off the insults or gossip thrown your way is not enough, the next course of action would be to stick to someone whose image is the opposite of that which is currently associated with you. This erases or nullifies the bad reputation attached to your name and gives you license to either stick to the newfound reputation you have or to create an entirely new one altogether.

Reputation is a strange thing. Non-conformists, in the loose sense of the term, would rather stick to the “I don’t care what others think” plan. By doing so, they neglect their reputation, leaving it open to others for judging. Their opposites, however, take extremely good care in handling their reputation, making sure to live up to people’s expectations and trying very hard not to let anything dirty their good name.

So, where do you stand? What’s your reputation?

-Cecilia Ynez Araneta, HI 18-N

31 comments:

joanne atienza said...

I agree. We really need to take care of our Reputation. It is something that makes us whole as human being. It is truly significant for us that we can kill to save ours. This is because reputation marks our place in the society:

A towering repute = Credence = Admiration = POWER.

: Joanne Atienza N

Miguel Rojas said...

Reputation does contribute to your well-being. I think that it is side by side with respect; the higher it is, people tend to treat you better, so I think it's fair to guard it almost like you guard your life. :D

Miguel Rojas
Hi18 O

Jedd Emille Chua said...

Reputation is as important as who you are, as the previuos comment says "A towering repute=Credence=Admiration=Power", reputation here will bring trust, and thus, power. No human cannot establish his/her reputation. However, one can change his/her reputation from good to bad, or bad to good.
-Jedd Emille Chua
Hi 18 O

Nico Mendiola said...

isnt it quite sad though to think solely of what others people think about you? i think im one of those non-conformist kids when saying that when you let thought of others control you, you cease to be yourself and become something entirely different. and in the after the chaos of metamorphosis, will you be able to recognize, fully appreciate and most importantly be happy with who you are?

mike said...

Ideally, a leader having a good reputation will merit him or her big chance of gaining power. People will begin to trust them because they know that whatever their leaders will say is something for the common good. However, in truth, there will come a time,when these leaders already garnered a lot of power, their reputation will be corrupted. They will start to abuse power, steal from people or maybe kill in order to maintain their position of authority. And sadly, this is happening in our country right now. We placed in position leaders whom we thought to have a good name, a good reputation but it turned out that when they are already in power, that "reputation" which they once possessed begins to be corrupted. And worse, people still trust them.

mike orlino
hi 18 O

Pia Maske said...

What's interesting with reputations is that it takes a short time - just one instance - for it to go from good to bad. If you've been the good girl since pre-school, then a classmate spots you in a bar dancing with a random guy, you'll be labeled a slut forever.

On the contrary, if you're the kind of person who never does his homework, is always wasted and constantly cuts class, the moment you take a stab at actually excelling academically, people will not buy the act too easily even if it's for real. It will take a long time for your reputation to shift from wasted to awarded.

Pia Angela J. Maske
II AB-MA Political Science
Hi 18, Section O

Cooky Araneta said...

In response to Nico, I think that even if one is a non-conformist, he or she is still affected by what people think of him or her one way or another. Yes, you can choose to be different, but one can't be too different because then people might be afraid to approach you. If you go against the flow too much, will any one still go with you? If you choose to build a reputation of indifference to what people think about you, then that might just push people away, or worse, they can use that as a reason to test you. But I think that in any case, we still all need to be accepted by the people around us. It's good to stand your ground, but make sure that you have people standing there with you.

Cooky Araneta said...

Mike, I get you. The "leaders" of our country built for themselves reputations to get the power, but once they did, their reputations changed drastically. From people who said that they would do it all for the good of our country, now, they are all known as people who do it all for their own good. It is true, that reputation is a key to power. It's also a key to that power being taken away from you. It's precisely because of their tarnished reputations that so many have tried to bring them down. Though they still hold the power, contrary to what you said, I think many have lost trust in them. I know I have.

luigiramirez said...

Reputation is not all important for me, people can have many perceptions and they can decide what they want for themselves, i don't really pay attention to that. Respect yourself first before others. But i think that if u treat others well enough they can help in establishing a good reputation.

Luigi Ramirez Hi18-O

mike orlino said...

i somehow disgaree with what luigi has said. i think, what people thinks of us is still important. they might be able to see what we don't able to see.however, a good leader should put in mind that there are some criticisms that are not helpful for him or her. it is important to filter just the necessary comments for the leader to grow well ( in terms of ruling).

mike orlino
hi 18 O

janine cindy santiago said...

Vagueness of discussion on the manner by which people, who give much importance to how they are viewed by others and act. Taking the example of writers for a publication, a suggestion is that the writer dwell on why and how people act in such a way by giving circumstances that cause this certain disposition. The writer should give his/her stand or suggestion on the topic, best if in an indirect way, so as to incite feedback. Asking the reader what his/her stand is on a certain issue is cliché; this, if given emphasis, would make the article more effective/appealing.


-Janine Cindy Santiago HI18 N

tashie_melevo said...

i agree that we should take care of our reputation, but this should not hold us back. a reputation is a way of how others view us, its perfectly natural to want to keep a nice and clean reputation, but sometimes this is what hinders us to be more. people thrive for perfection, we might not admit it, but we do dont we? we want to be viewed by the world as someone who's worthy of whatever investment you might be offered with, and reputations help you do that, but remember that what's important is how we see ourselves as individuals and not the other way around.

Nastashja Melevo
II BSLM
HI18O

bmgbes said...

"isnt it quite sad though to think solely of what others people think about you?"

I agree with Nico on this. I think this is just extra pressure people put on themselves to uphold their society-labeled reputation. Not caring what other people think of you is not being different. It's simply being you, being true to yourself.

-Bianca Michaela Bes, Hi 18-O

Alfonso said...

"Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

Even something as simple as what we think can make up who we are. Our identities are extremely tied to our reputations. Becoming too conscious of our reputations however, isn't a good thing as what we want to do must always be according to what other people perceive us to be or what pleases them. This chokes us and constricts our freedom to do what we really want.

Alfonso S. Laviña
II AB MEC
HI 18 Section O

Eric said...

I've always been the type who guards my reputation a lot. No matter how much we try to avoid it, other people will look at you and perceive you based on just what they see--and no matter how much you try to deny it, you feel a bit of resentment against those who look at you in a negative way. I really agree with just laughing off attempts at smearing your reputation. So far, I think it's the best way to subtly reject misconceptions and prove who you really are.

Eric Andres
HI 18 Section N

Marcy Leonora V. Pilar said...

"Isn’t it quite sad though to think solely of what other people think about you?" I agree with Nico and Bes on this.
What makes you you? What most accurately defines you as an individual? If you leave all the defining in the hands of your reputation, then you’re not better off. It would be like being a stock in the stock market- in one minute, you’re valuable, and in the next, you’re not. In being non-conformist, I think that all I’m guarding against is devaluating myself, and leaving my identity in the hands of an index as inconsistent as the stock market index. This, however, does not necessarily mean that I am entirely indifferent towards society. It just shows how highly I value respect (for myself and for other people as well).
As individuals that coexist amongst others, we should be conscious of ourselves and self-worth. The Greeks’ most important contribution to human experience is the “belief that a man must be honored for his individual worth and treated with respect just because he is himself.” :)

Cooky Araneta said...

I noted this in the entry:
"This is why you have to be firm in your belief of yourself."

I'm not saying that reputation is the ONLY factor that gives value to your identity, but that it is very important. It's not the sole determinant of your worth as a person, but it is crucial that you guard it. Of course you have to know yourself, but how other people see you and what they know you for should be something you take into great consideration. Your reputation can spell out how others treat you, and that will affect how you see yourself, in some way or another. Whether you choose to let it affect you or not, it will somehow.

How others perceive you can also determine the opportunities you have. What if you actually want to do good, but you're known for being "the bad guy" around, then will people really believe that your actions are sincere rather than selfish?

Guarding your reputation means guarding yourself. It's not about forgetting who you really are, but about caring how others see you as well.

Cecilia Ynez R. Araneta
HI 18-N

patricia said...

This law reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Princess Bride.

In the book (sorry if I'm spoiling it for you), the lead male gets captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts, the most notorious, most feared pirate in all the seas. Years later, we find out that not only is he alive, he had also BECOME the new Dread Pirate Roberts. In the years of his captivity, he somehow became DPR's apprentice, and eventually, because of his skill, the name and ship was passed on to him secretly.

The history behind the succession of names basically goes like this: the first mate of the original DPR gained command of the ship after DPR retired.

When the time for a raid came, they sailed next to a big ship, and its panicky captain goes, "Who are you?" fearing that the ship was DPR's.

The first mate goes, "Clooney."

"Never heard of you before." Then the big ship starts opening fire.

This was when they realized that it was the name, the reputation of DPR that struck fear in the hearts of all sailors. So Clooney goes on land, disbands his crew, finds a new one and told everyone he was DPR. No one had seen him other than the original crew, so who was to know? When he retired, he also passed on the authority, the ship and the name to a skilled apprentice, and that was how it had been ever since.

This just goes to show that a name, a reputation can be a big boost to one's credibility. Sure, to lead our lives fully, we musn't let what others think control how we live and yadda-yadda, but let's face it. Who would listen to a nobody? A creep? A weirdo? A loser? Chances are, NO ONE.

Build up your reputation, or get your ship blown up like Clooney. :D



Patty Geollegue
Hi18-N

Marcy Leonora V. Pilar said...

Cooky, I think your last comment's a good summary of what the entry's trying to say. Sorry for having overlooked the line. ;)
But I still think a line has to be drawn somewhere. Becoming obsessed with one's reputation can lead to consequences, but completely neglecting it (as you now have pointed out), is bad as well. Where can this line be drawn?

Marcy Pilar
LAW 25

Cooky Araneta said...

I think it's really up to us how and where to draw the line. We shouldn't be too affected of what others think about us, but also, we shouldn't neglect it. I guess it's all about balance. :)

Dexter Tanengsy said...

If people were to be literally stripped naked, that would be equally before our eyes. wouldn't it? In cases like these, what makes others more superior is not anymore their material possessions, accomplishment nor physical appearance. It all comes down to your reputation as a person, how of an ideal human being have you been. This pertains to the essential. That's is why it is important to guard your reputation because it is your life support system. People might steal all your material wealth and possessions but there will always be one thing that they can never take away from you, the reputation that you've built up as an individual.

Dexter Tanengsy, hi18-N

Marvin Velasco said...

One reason why I agree that reputation is so important is that it sticks with you, even after you enter your grave. People will remember your reputation more than how you looked or any trivial facts. I think that's why the title is very fitting; "—GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE".

I recall several cultures and societies which value reputation over material wealth or even their own lives. They would give up anything to have people see them the way they want to be recognized as.

Marvin Velasco
Hi18 N

camille martinez said...

Reputation is a part of your image. Your reputation is like the wrapping paper on a birthday gift. Reputation is basically one of the things that gets you power. There will be people who will want and not want to be affiliated with you because of how the public eye perceives you.

Good PR is important for a leader or someone in possession of much power. PR will get you places.

If only Marcos had better PR people, he would have probably been around much longer.

katherine conde said...

Reputation is indeed vital. One’s reputation decides whether one could make or break it Our reputation could be our weapon—either against our enemies or against ourselves.
After establishing a solid reputation, especially of an outstanding quality, we will be set apart from others. We’ll have the edge. Our reputation, our presence exaggerates our strengths and defies our weaknesses. This will instill respect—to an extent, fear. Thus, we become more powerful. Our solid reputation will cause our enemies to collapse.
But then, as the other law would say, never appear to be perfect or never to appear better than others for this will attract insecurity. Our enemies’ insecurities and fears will bring about our defeat.
So much depends on our reputation— guard it with our lives, because if we will not, it will eventually, inadvertently, ruin us.
Katherine Conde
Hi18 O

kirag. said...

Ah, reputation --- the thing people are preoccupied to take care of almost as much as they’re preoccupied to take care of their health.

Reputation is something one has a choice to uphold and live up to. When one builds a reputation that has been seen by other people then it is something that is already expected in one’s character. For example, if one has built his or her reputation to be a fearsome one, then people would look at him or her fearfully and be careful whenever they are around him or her, because that fearsomeness has already been engraved in people’s minds and so they will expect that of him or her. If he or she will not uphold his or her reputation of being fearsome, then that expectation is not lived up or upheld the way people see you. This might affect his or her credibility of being the person he or she once been.

Just as what Captain Shakespeare said in the movie STARDUST: “…Reputation --- years to build, seconds to destroy.”

So one must be on guard always, and be careful to live up to whatever reputation that he or she has if he or she wants others to see his or her credibility in exactly what his or her reputation says who and what kind of person he or she is.

Kira Gochuico
HI 18 N

Please comment on:
LAW 17

kirag. said...

Warning: One must take care that his or her reputation is not something that is wrong or something that compromises his or her convictions and values.

One should choose his or her reputation wisely. It’s okay to get hurt in the process of choosing a reputation that is not worldly or that “goes against the flow”; as long as one’s reputation is in the right then he or she is okay. :D With that, I could say that that kind of reputation is definitely something that is worthwhile to uphold and live up to.

Kira Gochuico
HI 18 N

kirag. said...

If one’s clean and good reputation has been slandered with dirty and really fallacious lies, one should not seek to retaliate by fabricating lies on the reputation of other people; this would only make things worse. Also, one should not look guilty but be quiet and humble himself or herself.

Instead, one should just stand his or her ground, believe, and wait. Believe that the truth will come out and wait for the truth to come out because the truth always comes out, no matter how long it takes, the fact is that the truth will definitely and undoubtedly come out.

So don’t worry if your reputation is slandered. When you hold your ground, be humble, not retaliate, and if you are in the right, you will gain the respect and trust of others when the truth comes out. All them more will you be a credible person.

Kira Gochuico
HI 18 N

biks said...

Reputation is what others think about you. It is the thing that brands you if you're a goodie or not. This is one of things you need to gain power. Without this, how can people trust you?

Don Faylon
Hi18N

Anonymous said...

always practice good reputation.

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Anonymous said...

In light of the PRISM incident, it may make people take further steps to safeguard their reputation.