Image source: Gritty Art
I am posting this week’s “Food for Thought” a little late, but then I’ve been late with all my posts this week.
This week’s idea stems from the Men’s Linguistic Society meeting. Some of the men from church get together once a month for lunch and a friendly discussion. Usually Rev. Chuck reads a passage from one religious leader or another to get the discussion going. This time he read a passage from Howard Thurman who postulated that everyone requires some form of acceptance and the acceptance and God’s acceptance is the ultimate.
Being good UUs, we first had to decide what the word acceptance meant. We did not try to find consensus on the meaning of God. That would not have been possible in the amount of time we had, namely a single lifetime.
So here is today’s menu. The code for the questions appears in the first comment.
- Appetizer: How important is it for you to attain the approval of others?
- At this point in my life, the acceptance of others is both more and less important to me than it once was. With life experience, I believe we grow less reliant on others to determine our own self-worth. I agree with Thurman’s initial point in that there is always someone whose opinion matters beyond our own self-image, someone or some group whose acceptance is critical in forming our own self-esteem. It is just that with age, we become more and more selective in whose opinions we choose to value that strongly.
- Soup: Do you seek everyones approval the approval of a select few or not really give a damn?
- I am more self-reliant as regards my self-esteem than when I was younger. I care less about the opions of most people. At the same time, a few people matter extremely to me.
- Salad: Whose approval is most important?
- Suna’s, distantly followed by my family’s and a few friends.
- Entré: Whose is least?
- Just about everyone else’s
- Dessert: How important is it to attain you boss’ approval?
- Much less than it once was. I think that as we get older, especially given some of the work experience I have had, I invest less in the opinions of my boss than I once did. I recently had a contract with someone who was an abuser. Her opinion mattered only in that I kept working, but not so much that. I think had that person offered me a permanent job, I would have declined. I know my value as a contributor. If someone else can’t see that or tries to undermine it, I know I can find a better match elsewhere in the market.