Abraham Lincoln once said “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
“Lincoln was a master of passionate words. Talking about him as one of my heroes is reserved for another post. But there is a massive amount of truth in the quote above. We often spend so much time worrying about what other people think, we forget that it is the tree of character that is important. Your reflection on the world will be shown in time, so spend your time thinking about creating a tree that will branch wide, and cast the largest reach possible once it is grown.”
I read the above some time ago on “The better man project” and it really made an impact on me. Today in our staff room, one of my colleagues came to sit next to me after school and as she was talking to me I thought to myself, “what are my friends and the other staff thinking of me talking to the cast out, weird, unmarried, pregnant teacher. I hope they don’t think that we are friends.” Ashamed of my thoughts, I immediately thought of the quote above.
It’s easy to let what people will think determine your actions, but in the end it’s your character that determines what people think of you, and not what people think of you that determines your character.