Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who Cares??

Recently several things have happened in my immediate and extended family that have caused some embarrassment. Because of the nature of these events I will not go into detail, but suffice it to say that things were said, feelings were hurt and tempers flared in a couple of different situations. That is not so unusual.

The response of those involved was to clam up. They all stopped talking. They were concerned with the difficulty of the situations, yes. But more so, they were worried about what other people would think. How often that is the case in life. We become so worried about the opinions of others that we do not do what is right. We obsess about our own reputations at the expense of truth, justice and the American way.

Often this "secrecy" leads to more trouble. Other people think that we have it all together and sometimes make embarrassing assumptions about us and our mental state. By hiding things we can also foster a spirit of dishonesty. Remember that lying is a violation of most ethical codes, and certainly the Ten Commandments.

This is why I have started to think in terms of how I relate to people. I still believe that it is important to have a good reputation. I want to avoid evil and sin at all costs. I especially want to know that others know I am living a good life. But there comes a time and place that we must all decide what is important. In addition, we need to consider whose opinion about us is important.

I am trying to group people (and their opinions) into three categories. I look at these as concentric circles of people (much like a bull's eye target). I am the center of the target and these groups of people are those around me. From closest to farthest they are...
  • Family. These are the people that are closest to me. They are the ones that I respect and love. These are the people that I want to respect and love me. I am not necessarily related to everyone in my family-category, but I want to be sure that I never disappoint any of these people.
  • Friends. Friends are people who are important in my life. They are not quite in the "family circle," but they are in the next level out. I am concerned about these folks and what they think of me, but if God (or family) calls friends are left out.
  • Fans. I want everyone to like me. My preference is that I will never upset, anger or disappoint anyone. But, things happen. Fans are the people that I want to please, but are of the least importance to me. If I have to upset anyone, it will be the fans.

Discretion is always a good thing. Secrecy generally is not. I will do my best to be discreet, but I am going to TRY being through with hiding things just because of what you might think.

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