Once a bell has been rung, the sound may fade, but it can never be taken back. That’s why a good reputation must be constantly maintained. It can be so easily and irrevocably damaged by a single act or statement that is made in an unthinking instant.
It’s a shame, but when all is said and done, the good we do is always trumped by the bad we’ve done. No matter what good Bill Clinton and George Bush may have done, you know that the first paragraph of their obituaries will mention Monica Lewinsky for Bill and the Iraq war for George.
A reputation is like a light by which the world looks for and finds merit
….but it is also like a candle of wavering flame that is easily blown out.
Goodwill is earned by many acts, but it can be lost by one.
An ill wound, but not an ill name, may be healed.
To be persuasive, we must be believable.
To be believable, we must be credible.
To be credible, we must be truthful.
Edward R. Murrow
Some people handle the truth carelessly….others never touch it at all.
My name is Gossip.
I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.
My victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no identifying name and no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I wreck marriages and topple governments. I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights. I make headlines, headaches and heartaches. I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
I am called Gossip.
Even my name hisses like a snake.
Be careful of your thoughts….they may become words at any moment.
A slip of the foot you may soon recover,
but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.
What you are and what you do stands over you and thunders so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is important for people to know what you stand for.
It is equally important that they know what you won't stand for.
Being powerful is like being a lady.
If you have to tell people you are
…then you aren’t.
Fame is a vapor.
Popularity an accident.
Riches take wings.
Only one thing endures and that is character.
The best way to be perceived as having character
is to actually possess it.
J. W. Reed
The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.
Class never runs scared.
It is sure-footed and confident and it can handle whatever comes along.
Class has a sense of humor.
It knows that a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations.
Class never makes excuses.
It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.
Class practices good manners.
It knows that being kind usually means just making a small sacrifice or enduring a minor inconvenience.
Class is unrelated to ancestors or money.
Some extremely wealthy people have no class at all….while others who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it.
Class is comfortable in its own skin.
It never puts on airs.
Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down.
Class is already up and need not attempt to look better by making others look worse.
Class can “walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.”
Everyone is comfortable with people who have class because people with class are comfortable with themselves.
You cannot build a reputation on the things you are going to do.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
When someone else blows your horn, the sound carries twice as far.
Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.
Time, which changes people,
does not alter the image we have retained of them.
If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
There is so much good in the worst of us
and so much bad in the best of us,
that it hardly becomes any of us to talk about the rest of us.
Passively listening to gossip or negative talk is implied agreement.
Associate yourself with people of good quality if you esteem your own reputation ….for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
The people we often admire most are the most daring liars.
The people we often detest most are those who try to tell us the truth.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.