Whether you like it or not, you represent someone else whenever you are speaking with others. Think about it. When you meet someone for the first time they’ll ask you about where you’re from, where you went to school, and maybe even about your parents. You are the mascot for every single place you’ve ever lived at and the legacy of those you’ve spent a long duration of time with. And when someone misbehaves or is very polite, who can you source that behavior to? Whoever raised that person obviously. I realized this when I was living away from home for university. This was when I was in my first year, being an absolute degenerate – crushing beers every weekend. I would wake up the next morning and think that there were no consequences to my actions. I would be a dick head and things would be OK because if I came out of it OK, who cares?
But in reality, as I got older I started to realize that being a shitty dude reflects poorly on my dear parents who I love so much. The last thing I wanted to ever do was to represent them poorly. Wherever I go nowadays I want people to know that my parents did a good job with raising me and that they can be proud of their kid knowing that I am representing them well. But even before this realization, I’ve been doing this consciously without ever thinking about putting on for someone. Whether it was me playing school sports in high school and university, or me telling people that my roots are from Hong Kong, I have always been very cognizant that I had to do my best to represent those places well.
This is kind of like the rap artist who is ride or die for their hometown. Now ask yourself this – are you aware of who or what you represent in life? Do you feel the need to represent your family or home with grace and dignity or do you not care? There’s no right or wrong answer. At the end of the day, my parents never found out about me getting kicked out of the club on my 19th birthday. But I would much rather people not think that my parents did a bad job. There is no net loss either way.
But being conscious about this, does this change your outlook? Is it important to you that the people and places you love are represented well? Because if it is, lucky for you – this is actually something that you can help control. Let me know in the comments – who do you put on for?