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.