Whether it’s a blog, a church, a business or even your circle of friends– association is everything. People tend to group others by the company that they keep. People tend to stereotype others by labels. No matter how much we say in regards to the fact that people do not fit stereotypes, the message gets through on the highest level, but we then go back to categorizing.
I don’t know exactly why we do it. It could be that our minds store information in categories. Possibly it’s because we see multiple pieces of information or experiences with a single thing and group it so that we can define expectation. Whatever the reason, people can try very hard to change associations without success.
I was listening to a talk show on the radio and the caller tried to get the host to acknowledge that not all Lebenese are terrorists– which he agreed. But that doesn’t stop the term “Lebenese” and “terrorist” from linking in people’s brain every time the news comes forth at the top of the hour. In fact, since that’s all some people know of the Lebenese, it is easy to see why they get this correlation.
You need to guard your reputation well, and make sure that those you are associated are the right kind of people. Your friends and who you spend your time with will tell others a lot about you.