Everyone has an opinion. And often this includes thoughts on how we should live our life. While we shouldn’t just arrogantly dismiss what others think, we cannot build a meaningful life simply appeasing the expectations of others.
Most people mean well in offering their take on our life. They’re genuinely seeking to enlighten us so we don’t have to suffer any longer in our perceived ignorance.
And we do well to at least consider if their insights are helpful.
It’s pride that leads us into believing we have life figured out on our own and that the opinions of others are completely irrelevant.
Humbly receiving the influence of others allows us to incorporate and build on many thoughtful perspectives besides our own.
While this is true, it doesn’t mean we blindly and uncritically accept the opinions of others.
We must do our due diligence to consider if what they’re suggesting is consistent with the man we’re becoming. Does it align with our core values and beliefs – our integrity?
We can freely accept it when it does. But it’s our duty to wholeheartedly reject it when it doesn’t.
All too often it seems we either care too much or too little what others think.
On the one hand, we invest a lot of time and energy trying to keep others happy. Our decisions are not our own and we defer our responsibility to the whims and desires of others.
And, on the other hand, we grow indifferent and dismissive of what others think – doing whatever we think is right in our own eyes.
Both extremes miss the benefit of learning to listen, reflect, and thoughtfully consider how to handle the opinions of others.
What others think shouldn’t have the final word in our life. But there’s often a lot of wisdom still in their opinions.
Learn to listen and rightly discern what others think – taking what is helpful and leaving the rest.