Opinions of Others < Self Worth


For the mathematically challenged: “the opinions of others is less than your self-worth.”
I want to share two experiences about the importance of not listening to the opinions of others
The moral is listen to you about your own self-worth.
The first experience was when Emmett – around the age of 4 – and I were playing pirates at the playground. We were playing with several other kids, too. It was an impromptu pirate game that involved me shouting things like “Aye,” “scallywag,” and “ye mongrel,” while chasing kids.
One kid, maybe 7 years old, looked at me square in the eye, and said dismissively, “You’re not scary at all.”
Absurd or not, it hurt my feelings! This 7-year-old telling me, “You’re not scary at all” hurt my feelings. I know that they are my feelings and I must have allowed him to hurt me. Nonetheless, I cared.
I don’t really envision myself as a scary pirate, but it bothered me that this little kid didn’t think I was a scary pirate either.
The second event occurred when I got an email from a gentleman telling me I’m no sort of rabbi whatsoever. He wrote that he didn’t even think I went to seminary.
I considered e-mailing him back: “The 5 years in rabbinical school certainly felt real enough to me. They gave me the title. So I’m using it. **** off.” (Thankfully, wisdom got the better of me and I chose not to send the reply.)
Marcus Aurelius , who lived in the 2nd century of this era, is attributed to having said something I think is interesting:
I often marvel that while each man loves himself more than
anyone else, he sets less value on his own estimate than
on the opinion of others

Isn’t it strange that while every person loves themselves more than anyone else, each person sets less estimate on his or her own opinion than on the opinion others have of them?
Why do I care more about what other people think of me than what I think of me? And isn’t that ironic, seeing that I love myself more than I love them?
We must remember that each of us is the foremost authority on ourselves.
Spiritual-religious advice:
Make sure you know how important you are, whether a 7-year-old says you’re not scary, or a horse’s rear end tells you that you’re a horse’s rear end.
With love,
i best

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