May 23, 2008

Reputation and Persuasion

That title would make a good song title, wouldn't it?

About eight months ago, I wrote about having a reputation, whether you like it or not. You do all you can to build a good one, and when you really need it, it can pay off.

But there's something that you have to deal with: mindless sheep. You see, I believe that the world is in a state of social or societal entropy, where everything goes from order to disorder. Everything goes downhill. Things get worse. Naturally, we have to put our own efforts and energy into the world to slow the decay, and have areas where things are actually good for a while.

A preacher pointed this out to me several years ago: people love to believe negative things, but are unwilling to believe positive things. Just look at all the rumors you hear. How many of them are good things? Not many. But mindless sheep love to hear those things. More, they like to spread bad things as well. The worse (or more sensational) it is, the faster it spreads. And it gets worse in the telling.

Remember, I've said that my own experiences and mistakes that I talk about here are, hopefully, useful to the readers. I don't know how much use this is beyond illustration, but I'll tell you about something.

There are a number of my relatives that think I'm a worthless piece of — uh, excrement. I'm just a useless a**hole that doesn't do anything for anybody. The funny thing is, this nonsense comes from one or two chronic liars that want to bring me down. (One in particular really is a worthless piece of excrement and an a**hole that doesn't do anything for anybody, unless there's something for her to gain.) And I have to deal with mindless sheep that listen to and spread these stories.

What can you do when you're on the receiving end of merda like this? First, remember that it's very difficult to stop a rumor because people love to believe negative things. Keep on building up your reputation where it matters, ignore the rest. After all, the more noise you make and protest, the more people are likely to believe the lies. If there are people in the chain that have some influence and some reason, you may try to tell your side of the story. But don't make a huge issue of it or it can backfire. Meanwhile, there are people who know who you are and respect you.

There are people that hate me. Hard to believe, but it's true. Most of the time, it's from losers that I don't even want to give me their admiration. There are people that respect me, and I respect them. It's a good feeling. Let mindless sheep bleat all they want.

You can take consolation in what you've accomplished, the lives you've touched for the better (even if only a little bit), the people that you care about and also care about you. Cafones that can't think for themselves and believe nonsense about you? You don't need them. Roll on.

Subscribe in a reader