I was reading a thread in which JH said:
People knew we were JW's just by the way we dressed, but also by the way we talked.
Now, not to come down on JH by any means, but this raised a question in my mind. As a never-been-a-witness, I have to say that I never heard of this illustrious image that Witnesses allegedly possess... until I heard witnesses and ex-witnesses making reference to it. In other words, the only people I've heard talking about this astounding, exemplary reputation of Jehovah's Witnesses are those who had some affiliation with the group. Not a single one of my non-witness friends ever made any type of comment referring to the sparkling image of Jehovah's witnesses. Not a one.
So what is this reputation I'm hearing so much about and how realistic is it to assume that non-witnesses have any particular feelings about this reputation?
I can really only speak about my own experience, which is a few fleeting encounters with witnesses while growing up. Well, maybe. Is it possible that I never really had an occasion to meet any JWs in my youth? Or, is it more likely that I met several of them over the years and just wasn't particularly struck with awe over the wonderful standards of dress and demure demeanor of any of them? Not that it's a problem that someone is really notable, but how does that mesh with the concept that the group puts forth of this gleaming image that seemingly proceeds them wherever they go?
Obviously, if I ended up here, I must have had occasion to know a few witnesses as time went by. Was I stunned by their wonderful behavior? Their good grooming? Their lack of a good heartfelt cuss every now and again? No. I know lots of people of varying religious groups (and non-religionists) who also possessed those qualities.
In fact, the first two witnesses that I had any extended contact with, were, in my opinion, not particularly role-modelish.
If anything, even with my limited knowledge of the group, they certainly made me raise an eyebrow over seemingly hypocritical behvaviors. So, this outsider had no real impression of witnesses, hardly a stellar one!
Well, my thought is this might be a case of "legend in their own mind" as opposed to a realistic perception of how others view them.
Have you ever asked around to find out what non-witnesses really think about the group?