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How to Survive a Loss of Reputation

How to Survive a Loss of Reputation


Reputation might be defined
as the claim that one can make on the goodwill of strangers; it is what your name will mean to those who don’t know you, who spend almost no time thinking of you. It’s what you will
get reduced to when you aren’t illuminated by love. How your reputation is assessed depends on the extent to which you have fulfilled, or violated, the ideals and aspirations of
your society. Most of us are properly known to, and liked by, five to ten people. When
it comes to everyone else, reputation is what will decide what we have been worth. The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit Reputation can’t buy us love,
but it can provide us with those valuable proxies: respect, honour and politeness. Those who are kind to us may not mean it, but they are at least making an effort. Not all of
us crave equally the warmth that comes with a good reputation. Those with a particularly strong need for applause tend to be those with a weak sense of their own acceptability. The cheer of the crowd is asked to compensate for an innate feeling of shame. We seek the validation of the world when we are inside unconvinced that we are quite deserving. The more we have been humiliated, especially when young, the more the good will of strangers
will matter; and – conversely – the more we have tasted genuine affection, the less
interesting reputation can be. Reputation is gossamer thin;
or like a soapy bubble or an unstable chemical compound, some metaphor to suggest the ease with which it can be torn or destroyed. It is so prone to disappear because it isn’t
based on knowledge or experience of one’s deep self, it’s made up of the candyfloss
of hearsay and third hand gossip. It’s the unconscious supposition of people who haven’t thought very deeply about who one is and have absolutely no wish to do so either; it’s
what people who don’t care about us think about us. This is what makes reputation so delightful when it is going our way. Our nobility becomes part of the unthinking common-sense of the community. But this is also what makes things so tricky when reputation falls apart. The only way in which our good name might be rescued in the minds of others is if they gave us some thought – which is precisely what they have never done before and won’t now begin to either. Reputation will rise and fall according to how closely we track or depart from the ideals of our society – and these tend to be pegged to
financial success, sexual propriety, decorum, marriage, sobriety, the sanctity of family
and the purity of children. The more of these ideals one flouts, the harsher will be the
penalties. Unfortunately, we are – all of us – error prone animals or, to put it more
bluntly, idiots. We should say sorry to the universe every day, given how we are. We’re impulsive, greedy, lustful, vain and selfish. Which means that every year, a small but significant section of the population makes an apparently minor mistake that causes terrible damage to others and blows up their life along the way. Not for nothing does western civilisation have at its heart the example of Greek tragedy, which tells us of averagely good people brought low by highly understandable, everyday kinds of folly – for which they pay an ultimate
price. When Reputation disappearsThe whole community hears in an instant and one is done for. The punishment may be financial or legal, but the ultimate damage is psychological:
one becomes a pariah. In the minds of all those who don’t think about us properly
(which is almost everyone), one is now a monster or a numbskull. For life.From now on, we will need to be looked at through the eyes of love before we re-emerge as in any way human, that is, deserving of even a little pity or understanding. Only through love can we be remembered to have once been baby, who was innocent, who struggled, and who later made mistakes from passing weakness rather than evil. Only through love are there any other sides of the story. As a result, all those who are not our intimates become sources of sure-fire damning judgement. We know from the outset that they will hate or condemn us. It becomes impossible to go to a party or (even) walk down the street. One probably has to move town. Suicidal thoughts become harder to push away. Ambitions have to change entirely. Everything that depends on the minds of people in general is now impossible. ‘What people might think’ disappears from the calculation; it’s a foregone conclusion. They’ll think – always – that one is
a demon. When the reputation-less rediscover close friends and family (and they almost
always do), it isn’t coincidental or a cheap excuse: it’s because they can see, more
clearly than ever, that these are the people, the only people, who know them properly and can therefore examine them with any degree of subtlety, as one might a character in a
novel. For everyone else, one has disappeared into a single word of insult. Image result
for rings of saturn The Lack of RedemptionIn older, more religious societies, there was
the possibility of apology before a divine being, a period of penance and then, eventually forgiveness. But thats one of the handy mechanisms we unknowingly dismantled when we decided that God was a fiction. We have been left with only one tool, the legal system, which
levies fines and prison sentences, but isn’t in the business of restoring reputation – and doesn’t get involved in most of the errors which cause it to be lost in the first place.
There is, quite literally, in most cases, no way to recover reputation. The sentence is life-long. We suffer also because we live in such vast societies. Recovery of reputation might have been possible when we lived in tribes of a hundred or so. You could go around and explain things in person, tent by tent. No such chance when it’s a case of having a few hundred million minds to change. Life without ReputationSo begins that peculiar
challenge, leading a life without a reputation, a feat in its way as arduous as hanging on
to a cliff-face with bare hands in high wind.A few moves suggest themselves. For a start, acceptance: of oneself, of the situation, of one’s misdeeds and of the darkness. Then, the construction of a new kind of communal life, one built around astonishing sincerity
and vulnerability. One says it like it is. There is no need for yet more shame. A whole new set of friends is called for – before whom one can be truly oneself, in a way one never could be before things fell apart. It helps immensely if these friends have themselves lost reputation. Ex-convicts might be an idea. And fallen business people and politicians. They will have a kindness to them open only to those who have suffered infinitely for
their errors. There is only so empathetic and thoughtful that blameless people can ever be. Animals are good too; they rarely judge. The immense open spaces of nature offer valuable perspective, as do history books. On good days, one feels that there might almost be
a kind of relief and freedom now that there is nothing left to lose, and impressing the
world is – perhaps for the first time since one was an infant – truly off the agenda.
We enjoy the particular lightness and indifference that is the privilege of all those with a
reputational calamity to their name.Lots of thoughts have to be avoided in order not to howl with agony. It isn’t the life anyone would have wanted at the high water mark, but it’s a life nevertheless – and one we should all contemplate, whatever our situation, to prepare ourselves for the day (which can’t be guaranteed never to come) when we might be forced to walk the earth without the cloak of a reputation. We believe that confidence is a skill we can all learn. Our confidence prompt cards are designed to help us master this essential skill. Click now to learn more.

38 thoughts on “How to Survive a Loss of Reputation”

  1. Thank you for watching today's film. Make sure you do not miss any of our future films by subscribing to our channel and turning on notifications

  2. When I went through this – you start all over again – you don't look back – you rebuild and make sure it's bigger, brighter, kinder and wiser than before.

  3. I’ve stumbled upon your videos through my recommendations. Every time one came up, I felt drawn in by the relevant title. These videos have such a balance, they’re succinct and easy to understand. I was originally skeptical, thinking, “well here’s another wellness channel.”

    But this content is of such value and high quality, I have difficulty expressing my appreciation without writing a novel. I wish I was your friend! Thank you so much for everything you’ve created.

  4. check out 'Historia Calamitatum' by Peter Abelard for probably one of the most striking examples of this in history

  5. One of the few videos on your channel I don’t agree with, it is those who have the courage to to break from conformity that make history, not those who worry about what others think.

  6. Speak for yourself douchebag, i'm none of the things you claim i should be apologising to the universe for.

  7. I suffred loss of reputation when I was imprisoned for one year, I lost almost all of my friends, my job, it was pretty much like walking naked down the street, painful and lonely it is, even though its getting better now, but the matter of freedom it brought to me was enormous, everyone now saw me for who I really am and they have the choice whether to leave or stay I don't really care anymore

  8. Excellent video! I will definitely be recommending. Don't think ex cons should seek to commune with ex cons though.

  9. This video conspicuously ignores the victims of whatever someone did "wrong." This seems to excuse and dismiss as "errors" behaviors that destroy others – shouldn't their experiences be the focus?

  10. Excuse me, please don't frame the entirety of our society in a way declaring that we all have denounced God as a fictional character. It's is not accurate and is also highly offensive to those of us who do believe in God or any other spiritual authority.

    Your videos are enriching except for moments when you're framing something major inaccurately. It impacts your credibility

  11. My goodness, this is how I feel, after my incarceration. Nobody takes me seriously, and even when I call out some other peoples abuses and iniquities, I am automatically a-judged – the bad, suspect etc…one. Its getting harder and harder to live down this kind of thing. Worse come to the worse, I may have to move country! – mine is small one so I don't have the luxury of moving to another state/other states and the cities and capitals therein – as in good olde USA. I am reading a lot about hiding in plain sight etc etc –  I feel I'm going paranoid under all this ha. Thanks for your series of very interesting and edifying videos. I have watched bunch of them already, its like a veritable Univ of LIFE sciences – not just the bio aspect, but REAL LIFE itself

  12. I can't be more proud of not having any reputation. I managed to get rid of all those unworthy around me.

  13. So if mob mentality labels you [negative] and just spreads it than the only course I'm left to take is accepting the abuse I deal on the regular basis of the bullying from society and anyone who "knows" of me

    Of course human error as no one is perfect
    But I get called a idiot every day by Evil people
    If not they treat me poorly
    And if I try to stand up for myself they just group up against me

    So yes human error, but not mine

    I'm forced to live a life I hate and think constantly about Suicide because of how Evil the hearts of many people are

    Judged
    Hated
    Gossip and slandered
    Victimized
    Abused physically and psychologically
    Then I'm told its my fault when its them attacking me
    So if I try to explain they silence because I'm "wrong and just have to accept it" and if I get angry from the injustice the ooo "he's crazy"
    While day after day Evil gets away free and I abandoned, isolated, and bullied into submission

    And them? Free to continue off as they please as karma does not exist and neither does a Good God

    This life favors the evil and how I wish all who worship it were separated from those who are loving because together good will always lose to evil
    It is a destructive and chaotic force
    And worse it's a presence in our existence and with how encouraged it is eventually everyone will be evil

  14. This is a pretty depressing conformist view of what life is all about. Sure, it is great if you are born to the kind of privilege that allows one some freedom to fail in societies eyes. Some people are allowed no end to forgiveness, and others are easily discarded. Some of these videos are great. This one is a dud.

  15. I think you can earn back reputation pretty easily nowadays actually — if you really want to. Social media makes it so easy to mask your shit to thousands. I'm curious as to why some good people let their reputation go to ruins without saying a word.

  16. Wow, such bad advice. There are countless examples of people who ruin their reputation than to re-emerge and rebuild themselves. Ever heard of Mike Tyson?

  17. Sometimes you lose your reputation because you stood up and took an unpopular position, because you believed it was the right thing to do. If this happens to you, be assured: the ancient Greeks considered this courageous and an important act for civic life.

  18. There is nothing which ruins the reputation, the psyche and the life of an individual faster than having any type of Autism. Asperger's is the worst condition. Being intelligent, creative, caring, hard-working, diligent, talented, helpful, an introvert but lacking in social skills feels like a death sentence and a constant torment. The person only lives halfway in this world and since the brain is totally unique it's almost impossible to properly connect with others.

  19. My cat hates me. I try so hard, & he won't sit with me. I blame my neighbours gossiping. As far as people go, best to leave them alone. I may get a dog.

  20. I desperately needed this. A couple of months ago I left a particular group because I hold slightly different values to them. I am now, I suspect, a pariah. Yet I keep thinking that the only thing worse than them all hating me would be them all still liking me. As that would mean not being true to myself. Luckily I have people who do love me.

    NB For Alain: some fallen politicians are scoundrels.

  21. Hi school of life. Thank you for your video it's very informative. I as a fan of your videos just would love if you'd include visuals of people of color too. I'd just like to see people who look like me too. Just my request. I appreciate the information you share even if I dont always agree with it. It gets ideas blossoming all around 🙂 thank you

  22. I suffered a loss of reputation at work.I had a bully for a boss,I work for a municipality with civil service rules.Bully boss didn't abide by any of the rules for promotion or training or anything else, he went by cronyism and abuse of power.If you went along with his crooked and cruel bs you moved up.If you stood up for yourself or those being singled out and bullied you were chastised and smeared.I took issue with him bullying a coworker who had a stroke and walked with a cane and a limp the boss would mock him when he left the room and I told him it wasn't cool,I also helped a female coworker file a complaint with the EEOC for getting paid much less than a male coworker. I was given the shit work, and isolated from my coworkers by being put on 3 rotations of nightshift in a row the whole time I was on night shift I was being smeared and talked down by boss to other employees.One of his cronies made up a story that I had made a threat of violence to him about bully boss.I did not.I was fired but got my job back as the Civil Service Commission did not believe the lie.However the damage was done,I dont think I will ever get my reputation back.For me,as a person who tries to live by the tenets of Buddhism, one of the hard parts is being accused of making a threat of violence.Just BS . I make good money and probably wont quit,but I have to find a new perspective to survive.Even with all that retaliation I would still standup for myself and those being bullied.It just sux and I wish it didn't have to be this way.Thanks for the rant,

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