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  • Jennifer Z. Major

A well behaved behaviour problem.

I'm going to confess something.

You're all going to be STUNNED...

I am a behaviour problem.

I'm the one who, upon seeing A Woman Of A Certain Age with supremely teased hair, turns to my friend and says "Wow, that hair must have terrible self esteem."

Friend says "Whaaat?"

Me: "It got teased a lot, I mean, LOOK!"

Or if I see a bowl of peas, I start humming "All we are saaaaying, is give peas a chance..." knowing that I won't because, eww.

On our recent adventure, I discovered something sorta jarring.

Some people don't know how to smile.

It's like, if you say something daring and entirely too horrible, like "good morning", some people look at you like you just yanked on their hair and yelled "You're a stinky monkey!".

And there are other people who greet your polite salutation with "It sure is! Did you see the sky this morning, such a pretty blue!" and they shame you with their joy.

Basically, Eeyore and Tigger.

I wondered, what kind of person has that kind of negative character?

Earlier today, one of my writer friends, Preslaysa Williams, posed a question on Facebook: Is there a difference between character and reputation? Is it possible to have one but not the other? If so, what would you prefer to have: a good character or a good reputation?

Personally, I'd go with character. Because, well, this sounds so braggy, I sorta know that I have fairly decent character. I see life through a happy lense, and I can usually hold it together when things are stressful. Yeah, of course I get stressed. As my dad recently said, when I was discussing a particularly rough thing I was in the midst of, "You need to learn to wait on the Lord."

He's right. I do. And I wasn't, not at the time.

My trusting , faithful character was showing its cracks.

(Another lesson in that conversation?

No matter how old I get, I'll always need my parents.)

A good reputation can be manufactured, but it still must be sustained. And it's hard to be nice when you aren't usually that way. It becomes work. Work can be frustrating. Frustration can get real annoying, and then at the wrong moment? Boom goes the "good" reputation.

Character is what you do when no one is looking. People with good character tend not to need good memories, because they don't need to keep track of their falsehoods.

And they draw people to them with a happy countenance, not push them away with a snarl.

So, think about that question, and thank you Preslaysa, for asking it. It's been something I've pondered for a few hours.

One thing that struck me as I thought of that, and how it relates to my personal change from stay at home mom, to stay at home mom who someone who didn't ever run in a business environment...and again, I'm not trying to sound literary agent paid me a high compliment a while back when she said that I could easily adapt from casual conversation to a respectful, professional manner in no time.

I was happy and flattered to hear that. I took it as a compliment to a steady, positive character.

And as long as no one teases their hair and expects me to sit through a meeting looking at big hair with small self esteem? I'll be okay.

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