Character and its absence

I have written before about my Grandfather’s attitude regarding a reputation, “… he told my Mother that a man who has lost his reputation has lost everything.”

I’ve always found this notion less than satisfying and the sermon I heard yesterday on Christmas Eve finally explained why. The explanation came from a quote by the legendary college basketball coach John Wooden who said:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Recent months have seen the loss of a good many men’s reputations as their characters have been more fully revealed. I think this has been very healthy even if some of them seem to have been tripped up by anonymous allegations which I find particularly troubling. Still, its long overdue and, ironically, we have President Trump to thank for this phenomenon. His success has been built almost solely on the think veneer of reputation in the absence of any character. The year of his swearing in has made the word “femininism” Merriam Webster’s the word of the year. Not a bad for our Presidential “pussy grabber.” It has also been responsible in Alabama for bringing out a massive African-American vote to defeat Judge Roy Moore despite that state’s bending over backward to keep black voters from the polls.

In these ways Trump is doing what his supporters wanted but not perhaps what they expected. He was elected to be a bull in the china shop and he is busy breaking the china. How well the United States will weather three more tortured years of his Presidency remains to be seen……..if it can be limited to three years!

In the meantime all the broken china comes with a little warning from the shop. “You break it you buy it.” The tax cuts for corporations and the super rich alone will be a trillion plus.

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