While I take pride in my friends, it’s hard when it comes to my own failings. I can still be brought to tears when remember the hurt I have caused others and that may be decades in the past. I try to learn from it all though. And not to beat myself up too much over it all. But for me, personally, I just can’t bring myself to view it as a badge of honor for me. A double standard? Perhaps. I certainly don’t feel that others should view themselves as I do myself. I guess I should try more what you said, to ‘move beyond the mistakes of ones past.’
This matter with Google, can someone’s opinion be trusted if they were to form a conclusion of another based on search results? Of webpages? Really, can even official documents that can be found online give an accurate picture of a person? Sure, it might raise questions, but would it not, at best, be a start instead of a finish? It would seem to me that a person forming conclusions based on such little information would be quite shallow and such conclusions are suspect at best.
Others, however, just love to dig up dirt. And, we all have dirt. A wise man once said: ‘if I stop to kick at every dog that barks at me, I won’t walk very far.’ Are the opinions of dirt diggers important? If a person sticks to his principles and acts in a respectable way in order to maintain a healthy self-esteem, then his reputation will follow. Perhaps instead of an isolated commune, they should just wear badges that says “I’m a shallow person. It would be best to ignore me.”