It can be really hard to have a reputation. Two years ago, I taught a boy, let’s call him Aaron, who was in the IN crowd.
Aaron had the clothes, he had the looks, he had great hair, and he even had something called sock swag (whatever the world that is)- suffice to say, he was a popular young man.
I had noticed one or three of my classes were being bullies, anyone could be a target; and though everyone involved swore it was all in good fun… Well you and I know feelings can get bruised.
I decided to show To This Day to Aaron’s class. To say they dug it, is an understatement. The bell rung and students tore out of the room as the credits rolled.
But there in the dark, under the light of the projector sat Aaron, tears streaming down his face. He turned and looked at me and said, “I wish this had existed 5 years ago.”
Then he wiped his face stood up and left.
We all have ways about us that have either been applied to our person by friends, or perceived by others to be true. Nevermind if those perceptions by either group are actually true or not. Nevermind if those applied traits are hurtful and damaging, anxiety inducing shades that pile up and smother out any bit of light you managed to scrape together. That soul you think you have, may not be allowed to grow in the direction you want for the pruning of others, a bonsai shaping into a cultivated direction of someone else’s making.
Something you own that is intangible, but it is given to you over and over again. You may try to lose it, shrug it off, explain it away, or show another side but it is ALWAYS GIVEN BACK.
Sometimes, we try to live in its good opinion, fulfill the expectation only to find it’s too hard. No one can be everything, every time.
Earned. Perhaps. Do we ever try to find out why it was given? Why we bestowed the reputation on another? What if it really was just one accident after another? If you weren’t there why do you believe your version of it? This isn’t God we are talking about, you actually need to see it to believe it, experience it and ask about it. Don’t just decide it must be lies or they must be one or the other. They mustn’t be ANYTHING you put upon them.
It is put upon us anyway. And it grows. It becomes enveloping and snuffs out the light. The real light of who you are, what you are. What you want to give to others. It limits, it defines, it walls in and cuts off.
The worst bit, I think, is when it gets too dark and you can’t see anything else anymore. It becomes like there is nothing else to be. So you are nothing else.
Reputations are sad. Very sad indeed.
I know that yes, some Reputations have elements of truth, but it is not fair to assume based on rumor or second-hand information some one is a certain way. Of course, there must be exceptions to every rule and some people are as reported. That’s the great thing about us, we can decide for ourselves if we choose to look!