The Opinion of Others

In each Presidential election, there are roughly 90 million people who vote. Even if the winner is clearly decisive, the number of people voting against that person is above 40 million. Certainly that is a lot of people who want him or her to go away. I would imagine that one could get a bit self conscious with so many people having a negative opinion. Of course, politics, especially Presidential, is not for the thin-skinned. There are lots of ill-meaning individuals who will say anything to get under another's skin.

I experience this to a lesser degree myself. There are many instances where people write (or say) things that are negative about me or my work. This can be a real blow to the esteem if I allow it. However, I realized long ago the opinion of others matters little to me. This is how I can survive in an environment like this.

The Internet gives everyone a forum to voice their opinions. Oftentimes, people are unflattering without merit. Unlike true journalism, the facts and truth matter little. People have the ability to state whatever they want without recourse. This too is an arena for those with thick skin.

Why do I bring this all up? The message I want to deliver is that the opinions of most people matters little. There is a saying that "nobody ever erected a statue for a critic". And it is real easy to be find a critic. It seems that everybody today feels qualified to comment on any situation. Again, the Internet provides the forum for that to occur.

We all have people who are important to us: friends, family, etc... These are the ones who are closest to us and who's opinions should matter. Sadly, there are many screwed up families out there. That is why it is best to practice not placing high value on the opinions of others. The only opinion that is important is what you believe about yourself. This is the one outlook we all need to take to heart.

Esteem is something that comes from within. Our worth is derived from ourselves (and whatever your belief is about spiritual matters). We do not get our value from others. Those who look for that from those around him or her are destined to be miserable. People in the world have an agenda. Unfortunately, most would rather tear another down as opposed to lifting themselves up. This is an easier course to follow.

At the end of the day, you are the one who needs to be happy with you. Each of us has incredible talent. At the same time, we are all capable of providing something wonderful to this world. Those who spend their time seeking this outlet find they have little time to worry about opinions of others. Those who are busy doing are too busy to read the viewpoints of the critics. Of course, the critics have the time to create their viewpoints since they fail to take any meaningful action in their lives.

Be mindful of this idea the next time someone says something unkind about you. I remember what a spiritual teacher of mine once said "other's opinions of me is none of my business".
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