From: The Godfather: Part III
Who said it?: Michael Corleone
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the third installment of The Godfather films. In this film, Michael Corleone (played by Al Pachino) tries to change his ways and actually attempts to turn over a new leaf. He goes through great lengths in an attempt to legitimize his businesses and restore his good name. Unfortunately, the people around him don’t seem to agree with his change of heart.
In one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie, Michael returns back home after an attempt on his life. He realizes at that point that, even with all of the good he’s done and all the things he’s done to actually go legit, most people see him as a threat and an evil person. He utters the quote, acknowledging he cannot change since the people around him will not let him leave the mafia world.
Geek wisdom: It’s very difficult to escape your reputation. In fact, sometimes we let our reputation define who we are instead of the other way around. It’s sort of like the toughest guy in school; even though he may try to change his personality (or he may actually be a nice guy underneath), he may not ever show this side since it becomes expected of him to be the tough guy even as times goes by.
We actually shouldn’t let this happen. We are the ones who define who we are, not anyone else.