Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Measure one's worth


We crave the approval of others. This seems to be part of the human condition. Everyone wants to be liked, and what better signs of approval are there than applause, trophies, and certificates? We finish our performance and glow as the crowd claps their hands. We adorn our shelves with our hard-won trophies and decorate our walls with certificates that prove our worthiness. All symbols of approval.

But after the crowd leaves the auditorium, their applause is nothing but a memory—an echo lost in time. Our certificates fade in the sun, slowly degrading to nothing. And our trophies tarnish as the years pass.

What does this tell us? Should we conclude that the approval of others is not worth seeking? Not at all. We need social relationships, and approval is better than disapproval or mere indifference. But we should put things in perspective. Aim to be the best person you can be, regardless of awards or applause. External validation does not last, and a life pursuing them for their own sake will never bring contentment. After all, there's always another certificate to be hung on the wall, and we may ask how many are required for fulfillment. Do they really matter?

Perhaps we should remind ourselves that happiness can be found in our actions rather than pieces of paper.