The Daily Stoic for July 23rd, “Receive Honors And Slights Exactly The Same Way”.
“Receive without pride, let go without attachment.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.33
This is a very wise advice, and actually, a very hard one to follow if you ask me.
We all like to feel proud of ourselves, of our merits and actions. We love it when others click the like button on one of our comments on Twitter. That dopamine trick is how social media companies have become huge these days.
At the same time, we hate being underestimated or disregarded. Our ego feels hurt, and it’s easy to get angry or emotional in such situations. That’s also why on social media, we will furiously answer to a hater trolling one of our posts.
Receive Honors And Slights Exactly The Same Way
I would say both feelings are equally hard to ignore. It takes a lot of time to learn to accept bad situations, haters, or blows of fate. Nonetheless, I think it’s even harder to be truly humble -not just pretending to be humble- when receiving honors.
That’s probably because there’s nothing -socially- wrong with that. If you tell a friend: “you see, there was this guy who was making fun out of my posts on Facebook, so we had an online quarrel before I blocked him”, probably your friend will tell you something like: “yeah! you shouldn’t have started arguing with him in the first place, these haters are just a bunch of losers that only want to waste your time”.
However, if you tell him: “yesterday, I received the prize for best writer, and I couldn’t help but feel proud and call all my family and friends to brag about it”, the same person would not probably see anything wrong about it… And I’m not sure I do either.
That’s why I believe it’s more difficult to let go of our ego when receiving praise. It’s something we see as something completely legit. We are supposed to brag a little -or a lot- about our successes or our achievements.
But something tells me, deep inside, that there’s some truth in the words contained in today’s stoic excerpt.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Receive Honors And Slights Exactly The Same Way”, discusses how we should react the same way when receiving praise that when being disregarded. In my mind, while it may look like something difficult, or even ridiculous, it’s something we all would benefit from practicing.