Praise & Blame

Do you every ponder why we can often be so subject to the opinions of others? In a world full of emptiness and suffering, it seems external validations often give us our only quantifiable sense of worth.

It may be a paycheck, it may be our boss's compliments, it may be an award, it could be a promotion or it could be applause. Conversely, it can be condemnation or online trolling. It can take shape as gossip and shunning, or love & respect.

The Buddha had quite a different perspective, that I try to remind myself of regularly. In my attempt to navigate a new world beyond a typical 'job' where I live a life of simplicity, space, art and service, the quantifiables as are often just not there. I don't have a boss. I don't get a paycheck on the 1st & 15th. I don't have annual performance reviews. 

What I do have is simply the work. I have the creations. I have the opportunities. I have the impacts. I have the fulfillment. I have the availability. I have the energy for others. I have the ability to help. I have the freedom to adventure, both in nature and within myself. I have the ability to leave town on a moment's notice.I have options unlike ever before. 

Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: Follow the calmness, the absence of pride
— Buddha

While mostly not monetary, the metrics I use to measure my life today have lead to deep peace, quiet & harmony with the world around me, while not being so subject to the praise and blame of others. 

And I guess I can quantify that as good for something.