I mentioned my brother in law is staying with us.
I had joked previously that that neighbors must be talking. And it had nothing to do with Mike. Brad has had a lot of driving jobs this year, so he gets a rental car and drives home Thurs. nights and we take the car back to the airport Friday morning. Then, 45 minutes later, we are home with his car. So, this year, late Thursday night, various cars have pulled in. An Outback, a Ram, a Flex, and Fusion, an Impala, a Taurus, etc. Now, Mike is there, so one night it was a Stratus, and then he took it back to sis and took her car, so the next night was a PT Cruiser. These cars are all there while Brad’s car isn’t.
Well, Mike is concerned now. He keeps apologizing for ruining my reputation. Or…further ruining it, I guess.
It got me thinking, and I told him my thoughts, but I wanted to write them here as well.
Your reputation is what people think of you, your character is who you are. I think there is a strange element of pride in worrying about your reputation. I could let my pride stop me from helping out someone who needs me…so that way other people think I’m a better person.
Do you see how ridiculous that looks when you word it like that?
I can help him and look bad. Or I can look good and let him suffer. Why on earth should I worry about what other people are THINKING while I’m DOING?
My brother said it the other day…”Punkie, you are who we go to when we need help. Because you help. You don’t worry about it. You just help fix it. If we need hugs and prayers we’ll go somewhere else. You aren’t so good at those things.”
So, my reputation may not be so hot, but who I am is pretty cool actually.
And, I told Brad when we discussed it. Mike is in a really bad place. I’ve been there. I’ve had the “I’ll pray for you” with no actual help given. Mike has fallen down a hole, and people are walking by shouting “I’ll pray for you” and “Well, maybe you should have taken some rope so you can pull yourself up.” and just a bunch of crap answers. And, they continue on their merry way, nice and clean and pretty and looking like good people, and they can tell their friends about how they saw this person who needs their prayers, down in a hole.
And here I am, climbing in and out of the hole, filthy, I certainly don’t look like somebody you want to talk to.
But the people who are seeing the circles under my eyes and the mud and the scratches and judging, don’t know I’m taking him food and water until he’s strong enough to climb out with me.
I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back. I’m saying this to say, help where you can. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t worry about your reputation.
Once I let go of trying to save everyone else’s thoughts about me, I was able to actually help and do and fix things. And, it’s been really nice.