Sunday, November 18, 2012

One's Self is the bedrock


I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. 
-- Michel de Montaigne

I think many people may protest against that idea. They'd feel that we are only here to serve others. That what we mean to, and do for, for example our family is everything, otherwise one is just being selfish. 

But I think it has a lot of merit. It does not mean that one should only work for and care for oneself, but that one can only *judge* oneself. One's self and one's connection to higher forces and callings. What others say should be taken into account, but the final judgement and decisions must be one's own, alone. 

Otherwise one is adrift on a sea of opinions, going to and fro as fashions change. Only be evaluating things by the best of one's abilities and then taking a firm stance and working from there, does one have a chance of making progress. 

I think it would be very hard to find anybody who has made remarkable, unique achievements, who has also not at some points been in spectacular disagreement with many of his contemporaries, maybe even to the point of violent attacks. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 18, 2012   4 comments links to this post

4 Comments:

At 18 Nov 2012, 21:44:00, Anonymous Rik Middleton said...

It seems Lance Armstrong may agree with you.

 
At 19 Nov 2012, 01:27:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE. YOU MUST HAVE A FOUNDATION, AND ONLY FOOLS WOULD ARGUE OTHERWISE. TO BE AT THE MERCY AND WHIMS OF OTHERS IS TO HAVE NO FOUNDATION FROM WHICH TO OPERATE IN ANY SPHERE AND IN ANY CAPACITY.

 
At 20 Nov 2012, 15:46:00, Blogger Phelixfil said...

If we didn't care more about what we mean to ourselves than what we mean to others then everyone who ever came second third, or last would be utter failures.

I think that one of the most predominant traits of what we call western culture is that we have very poor understanding of self, selflessness and selfishness. Think of others before yourself is surely a sound piece of wisdom. But is it?
If we are only responsible for our own circumstances the situation changes. You can't externalise blame for your current set of circumstances for a start. What you are currently experiencing be it comfortable or uncomfortable is entirely of your making and is your responsibility. But what if you are living under some sort of ghastly dictatorship? Well, there are those who would say that we always get the government we deserve. This can be a very difficult concept to swallow but I personally believe it to be true. I feel that this way of thinking and being rather than being "selfish" can wake us up to true compassion. That there are still dictatorships is a source of suffering to all of us not just those who are being directly oppressed. This line of thinking leads us to the conclusion that our own suffering is just a drop in the ocean of all suffering. Michel de Montaigne's quote fits very well with expressions like "Think globally but act locally" and "secure your own life jacket before helping others with theirs".

 
At 21 Nov 2012, 20:21:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

everyone who ever came second third, or last would be utter failures.

Well in fact that's true, they are by definition failures.

 

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