“Reputation is what people think of you, and character is who you really are.”
I heard this quoted today in a video of Coach John Wooden, former Coach of UCLA.
This got me thinking about a topic that I have had on my mind quite often lately. How many of us have one persona that we present publicly, and a completely different one in the reality of our every day lives?
I recall an episode from my life many years ago, when I visited a Southern Baptist church on the far South Side of Chicago. I was the only white person in the congregation, yet everyone there treated me like I was a dearly beloved friend. I felt so warm and welcome, it was amazing.
After church, I talked to the Pastor privately. I told him what a wonderful group of people he had and that I was so thankful to have been able to come and be a part of it. He sincerely thanked me, and then proceeded to tell me that he wishes these people were like this once they left the church. Unfortunately, he said that most of them go back to their regular life of drinking, wife-beating, drugs and criminal behavior the rest of the week. I was flabbergasted and devastated!
Bless that Pastor for his honesty and openness with me. And I owe him a debt of gratitude for a lesson that I still remember today.
But this is a prime example of having one public face and one private face.
But I think that the best of who we are is always present, we simply allow this to surface when we are in public. Whether it is in Temple, Church, or the grocery store, the loving person that exists is able to shine outwardly.
So what if we become mindful of this duality, and allow our loving and compassionate nature to be always present? Eliminating the defilement’s of our unskilled mind and opening our hearts like a lotus blossom.
Don’t your Husband and Wives, Sons and Daughters, those that are closest to you, deserve your gentle nature? Your genuine character?
Forget your reputation, as this is truly just an illusion. Let your Buddha nature radiate every moment towards all living beings.
This is my intention and determination. And as always, I wish you peace and happiness.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.