5. Endeavor to acquire and maintain a good REPUTATION.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” (Prov 22:1) A ruined fortune may be recovered, a lost reputation never. Young men are often laying the foundation of a bad reputation, while they are thinking of no such thing. They never dream that the character which they attain at school or college will probably be as lasting as life. The youth who is known to be addicted to falsehood, knavery, treachery, etc., when arrived at the age of man, will be viewed by those who know him with distrust. A stain on the character is not easily washed out; at a distant period the faults and follies of youth may be revived to a man’s confusion and injury. But especially is the female character exquisitely delicate. A small degree of imprudence will often fix a stigma on the mirthful young lady, which no subsequent sobriety can completely erase.
We do not mean that the young should nourish a false sense of honor, which would lead them to fight and contend for reputation. The reputation which we recommend must arise from a life of consistent and uniform well-doing. Prize such a character, as of inestimable value to your own peace, and as a most powerful means of usefulness. The most potent human engine of utility is influence; and this depends entirely on reputation.
– Archibald Alexander; Counsels of the Aged to the Young (See here for more info)