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Let me come to the point straightway and say that this Article is mainly intended to be addressed to the parents worldwide for their self reformation in order to bring up their kids in a proper way. Khalil Gibran’s quotation on children is very famous in literary world, but being lengthy and also out of my subject, I set it aside here. But, instead of it, I’ll quote a Chinese proverb, “If you plan for a year, grow rice (corn); if you plan for ten years, grow trees; and if you plan for 100 years, educate mankind (grow children !).”
Above two words of my title are such as one in two and also two in one. Just to have the primary knowledge, let us go first to the thoughts of Dale Carnegie in this regard as “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Character, in brief and in other words, is who we are when no one is looking towards us. One has said also that our character is not just our face in mirror, but our face behind the face. Here, I would like merely to remind my Readers my previous Article “Inspired knowledge” where similar talk regarding ‘face’ has been presented in a typical style.
Now, read further and see how some common people tell us some great things with their inner vision and wisdom. A little literate person, having similar name of mine and whom sometimes I used to call as ‘William’, had explained me the meaning of “Reputation and Character” some years ago in his country-like words very simply and yet profoundly. Alas! May his soul rest in peace in heaven as he is no more on earth. He said to me, “Valabhai (Sweet addressing), man lives in a society wearing four robes, one on the other and so on. The upper most, the fourth can be seen by the society and the person is considered to be the man of the great reputation. But the nearest friends of him smile in their moustaches by seeing the inner, the third robe of that particular person and think that the world doesn’t know many things about him which they people know. Then comes the turn of the wife of that Gentleman. She can see her husband closely covered with inner, the second robe and thinks that the friends and the society know very little about her husband and his character.” Further, Mr. William (not me!) laughed loudly concluding his talk by saying, “And the inner-most i.e. the first robe of the man is perfectly known by the God what real reputation that Gentleman possesses and what character he is having. Nothing can be hidden before the God.”
William Hersey Davis (one more William!!!) has quoted, “Reputation is the photograph, but the character is the face. Reputation is made in a moment, but the character is built in a life time. Reputation makes you rich or poor, but the character makes you happy or miserable.” In my own view also, the reputation is just like a bubble of water – it comes in existence and vanishes, but the character always remains with us. Everybody should try to develop own character and should not care for reputation as it will follow to the character itself in its own way as the child follows its mother.
Lastly, before I wind up my composing, I‘ll quote Abraham Lincoln in his words, “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.” It is self-explanatory that the shadow of a tree may change its direction or size, it may disappear in the noon or at night; but the tree is always there standing steadily and growing larger and larger to make its shadow wider and wider. In other words, it can be said that the character is independent, but reputation is dependent on character as the shadow on the tree.
I hope my Readers will find my Articles useful for the character building of own and their family during their leisure times when the life is hardly free. As my Readers may be knowing also through my Introductory Article “About me” that I am a senior citizen and with the grace of the Almighty God, I could acquire the knowledge of human behavior and many aspects of human life through my life long experiences, Reading and sitting with old-hand people of my youth period.
Bye, my good fellows; see you again …
With best wishes,
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. : 6th October, 2007