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Rendering Reputation: Learn to value personal growth over external perception

By Chardonnay Beaver

Reputation, according to Merriam-Webb, is an individual’s overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general. Reputation is usually associated with earning the likes of others for one’s personal benefit towards advancement.

Although reputation is important, it shouldn’t drive one’s moral compass.

Here’s the problem with reputation: an individual is accessed by others based on the quality of a person’s character, at that time. What reputation fails to acknowledge is one of the key symptoms of life… growth.

As humans, accessing fellow humans, who are we to hold someone hostage to their past? What divinity do we possess that grants us access to such power?

We’ve used reputation as a metric to measure one’s ability. These measurements are geared towards faulty sources. For example, if we measure a stranger’s character based-on rumors or ‘word of mouth’, we formulate perceptions about who they are before we meet them.

Although the great Maya Angelou once said “when people show you who they are, believe them,” I don’t believe this method is applicable in every situation. Now, I’m not encouraging that individuals aren’t held accountable. If an individual is dedicated to personal growth, and learning from their lived experiences, they will evolve. They will no longer be who they once were.

We can’t contain people’s capacity for personal growth based on their reputations.

We live in a culture that treasures reputation over redemption. When we adopt these principles as our own metric of judgment, we fail to observe the ways individuals are making conscious efforts toward growth.

Words of Wisdom by Char: We must give each other grace. If we consistently hold someone to their past mistakes, how will we ever recognize the ways they’ve changed. It’s time to render reputations and embrace redemption. Matthew 7:1-2



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