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Socrates—The True Sense of Reputation

Personal and family reputation is a paramount issue among the different cultures around the world. Some western cultures have broken down the mind-set regarding reputation, in contrast to many Middle Eastern and Asian countries who are dominated by the emotions of shame verses honor that is embedded in fear. However, among the western countries, many locations of villages, and towns still protect the “family name” or a personal reputation.

Socrates (469-399 BCE) attained a higher level of consciousness and dedicated himself to teaching the truth within Athens. In his use of critical reasoning and his unwavering commitment to truth, Socrates taught within a level of a higher cognition. Socrates devoted himself to free-wheeling discussion with the aristocratic young citizens of Athens, insistently questioning their unwarranted confidence in the truth of favored opinions. Socrates was sentenced to death on charges with interfering with the religion of Athens. Indeed, the threatened powers of the darkness caused the manipulation of the minds in the court that decided the poisoning of Socrates.

Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of – for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you want to emanate. —Socrates

Considering areas of conservative cultures where reputation is paramount; wisely, Socrates is speaking that it is an arduous task to rekindle a reputation once ruined. However, Socrates continually taught to emanate who you desire to be, and to live within that reality. Humans can exist separate from their inner self—existing enmeshed with the ego and the mind. Hence, safe guarding a reputation that may cause villainous behavior toward our fellow citizen is spiritually detrimental. Therefore, manifestation of the true character of the inner person that is of reality will generate the emanation and radiation of the inner character. The inner person is craving free expression within a world of cultural oppression that causes suppression of an individual.

The solid character of the inner person, coupled with positive qualities, will remain steadfast and true. The results of a positive name are unavoidable.

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them. —Socrates

Not only cultivation of positive qualities is required, but practice of human virtues is essential. Integrity will not exist if the practice of honesty and fairness is absent within an individuals life.