Friday, July 9

I'm my own what?

-You Are Your Own Business Card-

The first time I read this line, it was one of those light bulb moments! Quite often, in one way or another, most of us have to market ourselves; to clients, to bosses, to prospective employers, etc...even if we're fortunate enough to not have to actively sell our skills, we're advertising what we're about with each interaction, no matter how insignificant it may be.

It always amazes me when I witness someone screaming obscenities and flipping the bird in traffic, and then see a bumper sticker on their car advertising their Christianity. Not exactly the person I'd want teaching my kid in Sunday School.

Now, don't get me wrong, I realize we're all human and none of us are perfect. I'm the first to point out my flaws to anyone within ear shot. The occasional four letter word escapes my lips, and we won't even talk about the things I want to say sometimes, but thankfully self-control wins out and I bite my tongue.

In my opinion, we need to have absolute boundaries for how we behave in regards to common decency and politeness. Just look around on any given day and you'll see society has become sadly lax in regards to people respecting one another and practicing good manners. Philosopher Eric Hoffer said it so eloquently: "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."

Being a person who has to sell myself as a public speaker, a mentor, and an active member of my community, it's important to be on my best behavior every day; after all, we never know who we're interacting with, and when we may encounter them again in a more personal, or business setting. Who'd want to ask me to go encourage a person in the hospital if I went about with a scowl on my face all the time? How many invitations to give motivational talks do you think I'd get if I was overheard dropping "F" bombs while complaining about long lines in the grocery store, or seen giving the finger to tourists in traffic jams?

Shouldn't we strive to be the best we can be, even when no one is looking?
After all, there is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience, and no face more beautiful than one that wears a smile.

What does your 'business card' (your countenance, your behavior) say about you?

I'd love to read your thoughts and/or experiences, either good or bad, on this subject.


Angie said...

We do NOT want to read my business card, Michele! ;-) Very well said, and so true. My behavior says that I'm a dramatic nutcase (but I prefer to call it eccentric) that loves to have fun, and finds everyone interesting...ummm...probably...hopefully.

Cris Goode said...

Love the Rudeness quote. So true! BTW- I just left you an award on my blog:

~*~Eneida~*~ said...

Wow, I've heard something similar many times before but today must have been 'the' day because it hit me hard.

How we act certainly represents who we are. I think it's even more important when no one is looking because that is who our TRUE self is. Self control can be exerted when needed in public, but when you know that no one is looking do you still control yourself or do you let your body control you???

IMO if you can control yourself when no one is looking and be your best self then, well when you are in front of others it will be just as second nature and being 'yourself' will be all you need to focus on.


Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf said...

So true that we do sell ourselves.
Personally I strive to be the best person I can be. I do not always win but I certainly do my best.
Also, I like to meet new people (like yourself)because it helps me grow and become a better person.
Thanks for being you!

Tree said...

So very true! And we have become very lax as a society....rudeness is everywhere, but there are still those that shine through. :) I've always had my "professional" persona and my "let it all hang out" persona. LOL My kids laugh at my "business" voice on the phone, and my ghetto voice in other circumstances. tee hee

Michele Chastain said...

I want to point out that I'm preaching to myself here, and in no way am I meaning to exult my behavior above others. As I reread this, I realized that I came off as being above reproach, and OH MY GOSH I am soooooo far from being that well behaved! I'm one of those people that lets things build up and then WHAM! -- out of nowhere I'm really angry and for a little shorty of 5'1" you'd be surprised at the temper I can have! Hahaha!

With that being said (or should I say, confessed?) - I still try my best every day to do what's right for several reasons: to please God, to feel good about myself, to set the right example for my son, to make my husband proud to have me as a wife, and to strive professionally.

Peace! ♥

Karen Mortensen said...

You are just fine to me. I really liked what you said. I need to remember this too. I always say, I don't need ememies, I've got me.
I wonder if what my mom said to me those many years ago has anything to do with it.

Judith C Evans said...

I love the line, "there is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience" How true! I completely agree that we need to be consistent in our "best behavior." Great post--I look forward to reading more.

jenny_o said...

I liked this post and I don't think you need to worry about how it sounded. It's a subject I've thought about many times. I try to be on my best behavior all the time, even more so when I am around people I don't know, because something that your friends accept as a quirk in an otherwise fine friend can come across as less palatable with someone you've just met. When I slip - with friends or strangers - I don't like the feeling of showing that less desirable behavior to others. So I just keep trying. Over the years, I've improved (I think), but, yes, there are still many lapses!

Corine said...

Great thoughts! Actions truly speak louder than words, and they really do either sell us... or they don't. OR perhaps we sell ourselves short by being less than we can be.

For example, it always astounds me when I see women wearing clothes that show everything... with a cross necklace about their necks... as if one could be so promiscuous and at the same time also be a devout follower of Christ. What type of a man does she think she will be attracting to her? Will he be a man who follows Christ and honors her virtue? What are her intentions?

I also love the idea that integrity is measured by what one does when he thinks no one will ever know about it. And we all know we like and feel good about ourselves when we have integrity.

Thanks for the great post!
Corine :D