Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fools mock, but they shall mourn

Pride and arrogance can never make someone truly happy. Unfortunately we’re all susceptible to the impervious temptations of unattractive qualities. Take our first impression judgments, for example. Almost unconsciously we look at other human beings and begin to pick them apart. We size them up. And, shame on us if the idiosyncrasies or weaknesses of others buoy us up with a sense of pseudo self-worth.

We too often unfairly compare and contrast others to molds of our ideal paragons yet we hold not the mirror to ourselves. Why not? Because, we mostly judge ourselves not by how other people see us but by how we see ourselves from the inside looking out.

No one I know goes around continually admitting their wrongs or openly admitting their magnified personality annoyances. On the contrary, they cannot see them. We all have such a veneer that serves as a vaccination and shield to protect our mental self-imagine and overall well-being.

Yet a healthy self-esteem must include honest self-introspection and also humility and appreciation for others, for when we tear others down—in our minds by our thoughts, or by our words or actions—it is impossible to rise above and be great. You’ll recall it is written in the Bible, that whosoever exalts himself will be abased (humbled) and whosoever is abased shall be exalted. No haughty, back-stabbing supervisor, CEO, politician or pundit is truly great, though the position might suggest it so.

I hope to follow more closely the example of Benjamin Franklin, a statesman and diplomat who was so skilled in his interpersonal associations and communication that he, among other things, was asked to be the U.S. ambassador to France. What was the secret of his success? Said he, “I will speak ill of no man…and speak all the good I know of everybody.”

Now those are words to live by.

PS If you’re reading this blog, you will see I need to improve in this area.

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