We all seek acknowledgment and approval from people around us, especially of those who matter to us. If we didn’t, compliments – whether off-hand, casual remarks from strangers or heartfelt, appreciative comments from loved ones – wouldn’t make us feel so good.
The thing is, why is it so hard to acknowledge ourselves? It’s easy to say that we aren’t able to look at ourselves objectively, but even when it’s clear that we’ve done something good, many people seem unable to accept that we have done something worthy of praise. It could be something mundane, but if we are unable to acknowledge the value in who we are and what we do, doesn’t that then devalue us as individuals?
And if we can’t acknowledge the value of decent people/people who do good work/people who are kind and helpful to others etc then aren’t we perpetuating the depressing state of events where people are unprincipled/lazy/unkind/unhelpful?
Let’s make things better in our own little corner of the world, however small or seemingly insignificant it may be. And mull over this viewpoint, from one of my favourite books – a father, in response to his son’s anger over a neighbour’s hatred and bigotry, tells him “We can’t get rid of it but we can do our best in the opposite direction.”