Bobby Burns didn’t see egg on the lady’s face when he penned his oft quoted words, “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us…” He saw a louse on crawling on her. Thinking about honesty lead me to think about how we see ourselves, how others see us, and the fronts we put up.
The messages are mixed. On the one hand we are told to focus on ourselves, reach for our dreams, work toward our goals; on the other hand that the good life comes from caring more about others than ourselves.
I am always preaching kindness. Someone recently asked somewhere if being kind was the way to the good life, wasn’t that promoting selfishness and selfpabsorption. Good question. I see myself as kind; trying to live Torah, the Golden Rule; others probably see me somewhat differently. The truth about who I am probably lies between the two extremes. So I read this.
For those of you without the time or energy to read the article: “Here is the introductory paragraph. There is a vast chasm between loving yourself and being self-absorbed. Loving yourself is about accepting who you are, warts and all, and making the most of your talents, traits and essence; it is also a position from which you feel secure and have healthy self-esteem, enabling you to reach out to others and help them grow and succeed too. On the other hand, being self-absorbed is the antithesis of healthy self-love. It is about only thinking of your own needs and wants, pushing away others’ needs and identifying only with those people and situations where you will benefit personally from interacting and connecting. A self-absorbed person concentrates only on what will get them ahead in life, a state that is rarely considerate of other people apart from their usefulness.”
So as I said, the truth about me and I suspect about all of us lies between the two extremes.
STAYING STRONG TIP A Latino saying makes the point that if one person calls you a donkey, ignore him. If two people call you a donkey, consider the possibility. If three people call you a donkey start eating oats and hay. Or something to that effect.
It also helps to have several friends who will tell it like it is. AND to listen to them at least with one ear.
FUEL MY HOPES: Be kind to me, get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong. Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.