I have lots of people in my life who view me differently, it seems. There's the group that views me as a fun-loving, loves to laugh kind of guy. Then there's the group that views me as sort of a stuffy, afraid to make fun of himself kind of guy.

I'd have to say that I'm truly a combination of both. I put on different faces for different people and different groups. I think we all do. My faces aren't all that much different from each other, though, which tells me that people perceive things differently based more on their backgrounds than mine.

For instance, I do like to laugh when I find things funny. I seem to find certain things funnier than other people, but that's okay because at least my wife and I share the same sense of humor. And a couple of my friends do also. I remember back in the 80's my friend Scott and I would go to these comedy movies all the time, and it would feel like we were the only two laughing out loud. Other people would be enjoying the movies in their way, but we both got the jokes and had a great time.

Then there's my friend Bob the actor, who was also my college roommate my senior year. We have similar tastes on many things, though his humor is also a bit more extreme than mine. When we're together, because we know each other pretty well, we laugh and laugh and laugh; it's always a good time. Separate, well, we'll just say that I didn't get the concept of either Borat or Bruno and wasn't even going to think about going, and he thought both movies were hilarious.

When I work on a job site, I get along well with people. However, like I was when I was an every day manager, I always know there's a point at which one has to draw the line. I've never gotten into racial jokes or ethnic jokes or sexual jokes because it's not my style, and thus I would never participate in them in the workplace. I wouldn't even allow some of them to continue in certain circumstances, like meetings, because I always knew there was going to be at least one person uncomfortable, and it wasn't going to be on my shoulders that I didn't know how to control a meeting.

The same goes for parties. As a non-drinker, I've never been one to find a reason to let loose at a party. As a black man, and often the only one, or one of few, I knew that there was always going to be someone in the room who wouldn't see me as an individual, but as representative as the entire race. Thus, I have fun, in my way, I do laugh, I engage people, but I also sit back, watch the room, gauge the feeling and see what's going on, and I'm always careful to maintain my dignity before I do anything.

Now, some people would love to change that about me, to see me let my hair down some, but that's not going to happen. One, my hair doesn't let down. Two, I am who I am, and my dignity is my own. Three, I figure that in the long run my dignity will be maintained enough so that people will always have a greater sense of who I am than if I go to extremes. As I said, I'm usually pretty steady in my demeanor, but even the differences I'll exhibit in front of my friends and those I end up working with will show up drastically different in their own minds.

Over the past couple of weeks, Tiger Woods has had to deal with his own issues of what his dignity was all about. It seems the guy we thought we knew, the image that he had created, has come crashing down. In a sense, he's been made just another man again, and we're not sure how he'll end up responding to this crush to his overall dignity. I truly believe that he really never contemplated what his actions would look like to the world if they ever got out. To me, if he had, he'd have made some changes in his life before now, if he's making any changes now. I know things will blow over and that he'll be back playing golf, and will still be eternally popular if he can put that little white golf ball into those tiny little holes that I would never be able to master.

How do you view your dignity? How ready are you for consequences of your actions? Think about that one for awhile, and please share your thoughts.