Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Public Opinion

I am a Gretchen Rubin lover. I may even name my first born after her. Okay, maybe not, but her daily "Moments of Happiness" really do spark some thought and happiness into my days.

Yesterday morning I got an email from her blog with the following quote: “Public opinion is always more tyrannical towards those who obviously fear it than towards those who feel indifferent to it.”
-Bertrand Russell

I thought about this quote all day. I saved the email (which is odd for my OCD self to retain an email after reading it.) I pulled the email up on my phone multiple times and read it. I know why this quote was so thought provoking to me yesterday- because it hits so close to home. Even as an adolescent it was so hard for me to disregard what people thought of me. If someone made a negative comment about me, I would ponder on it for days...weeks.. I would contemplate what I could do to remedy the situation. Maybe I should go talk to them in a kind way to help them clear up the falacy. Maybe I should apologize to them for something I did or said that could have possibly come across the wrong way. I often times would apologize or explain something in order to make them have more positive feelings towards me even if they had no plausible reason to have bad feelings in the first place. The bottom line is this....I could apologize until I was blue in the face... I could suck up, be nice, compliment and help out until I fell over from exhaustion and it would NEVER change the fact that "people like talkin..... talkin bout people.." (Had to throw in a little Bonnie Rait there. You're welcome, Dad.)

The truth of the matter is that no matter how good we are, how hard we try or how perfectly we try to live...we will never win the battle with public opinion.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to strive to be our best and serve in all ways. What is means is that we do it because it's the right thing to do, not because we want to please "them" and what "they" say.

Be indifferent to public opinion. Besides, what other people think of you is none of your business.

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