Google your name and you will be praying everyone else with the same name behaves well and none of your own past transgressions show up on the list. No matter how random we think our name is, it’s likely someone else out there has the same first and last name. It’s particularly eerie to see ours in an obituary.

Our online history is long-lasting, and as humans we make mistakes. It’s not surprising if something is on there that we aren’t too proud of—a negative review, a comment we’ve made that we should not have written, or worse.

I know of another Mary K. Doyle who also is a writer. Occasionally her work gets mixed with mine. I haven’t read her books but sure hope they are well-written and of content I’m comfortable with.

I want my name to be associated with honesty, integrity, and kindness. As a writer, I also want credibility, thorough research, and easily accessible writing. A prolific writer doesn’t produce a desirable read if the work is incomprehensible or inaccurate.

I have a responsibility to my own name, and anyone else who shares it, to be on my best behavior. My parents and grandparents taught us that if one of us does wrong, it is reflected on the entire family. We are a close bunch and often run into each other or people who know one of our relatives. Nothing is more embarrassing than to hear how one of us failed.

If we see something unfavorable online about ourself, we can try to get it deleted. The best option is to dilute it with many positives. Acts of kindness, sincerity, and goodness will rise to the top.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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