There's a huge difference between your character and your reputation. Your character is who you really are. Your reputation is what others think you are. Let me give you an example.

Manny Maciel is the Animal Control Officer for New Bedford who's volunteered to rescue and search for animals displaced in the Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Dorian, which recently ravaged the area.

Well, no one is watching now that Dorian isn't in the news anymore. No more TV reporters tilting in the winds and rain. The only things remaining now are forgotten villages, piles of rubble, homeless families and hungry dogs and cats that miraculously managed to survive the hurricane.

Manny is there right now with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a Yarmouth-based organization that's working with the Dorian Animal Relief Coalition to place shell-shocked animals either back in the arms of their families or in shelters. You can read about what Manny and others are doing to help save these animals on the fund's website.

It's not the first time Manny has traveled a great distance to help animals; in fact, he recently took a trip to Russia to help out the dogs of Chernobyl.

The C.S. Lewis quote comes to mind, "Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching." That sums up perfectly both the character and the reputation of New Bedford's Animal Control Officer.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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