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Monday, July 18, 2011

Does It Make Sense To Live Your Life For Others?


What is it you really care about? What gives you a wonderful sense of inner well-being?
  • Is it what others think of you?
  • Is it about how important they perceive that you are?
  • Or how popular you are? Or the people you rub shoulders with, or are on a first-name basis with?
  • Is it about being seen at certain places, restaurants or parties?
  • Is it about wearing certain kinds of clothes?
  • Or perhaps about how your home is furnished? Or its location? Or what sits in your driveway? Or in the berth at the marina?
Somehow I don't believe any of the above give you that wonderful sense of inner well-being, and yet, that is what so many do ... living a life for the sake of others, in the sense of how they are perceived by others based on any or all of the above benchmarks.

Why on earth do we do this? How do we allow ourselves to be lulled into this manner of thinking that has nothing whatsoever to do with real inner well-being? Is it because of our childhoods? How we are taught to give importance to our appearance and the toys we have, or the toys our parents have? If so, please also print up this article and give it to your parents, and ask yourself some very serious questions about how you are handling the raising of your own children. Is it because of the all-pervasive influence of mass media? We can't discount it, and we often discuss it, so why not give it its proper place in our lives ... a place that we control, as opposed to us being controlled by whatever it is mass media are trying to make us believe.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of the above, having lovely things, knowing popular, famous or powerful people, going to lovely or exclusive places. What I'm suggesting is that it makes no sense to live our lives for the sake of others, for how they perceive us for the sake of the place these things have in our lives.

Think about it: do you make yourself happy, or does a thing do so? In the case of the former, it is safe to assume that you are free, but in the case of the latter you are dependent on the existence of that thing in your life, so you are not free. It is up to you because it is a choice you make every day, all day long.


Photo Credit: Boaz Yiftach

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