June 3, 2021
“Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.” Henry David Thoreau – Walden and Other Writings
I absolutely love that quote and wish more people knew and understood it. As a therapist, I work with people who have lost their confidence in so many areas of life simply because they are bombarded by public opinions which come at them from dozens of sources all day long. When I think of how impactful phrases like Everyone is doing it, or That’s what everybody thinks, or That’s the way it is today, or It’s what’s “in” right now, I understand how people can lose confidence in their own ability to know what they like, what they believe and even who they are!
If you feel like public opinion has influenced you so much that you don’t form opinions of your own without first finding out what others think, you may need to reboot your mind in a way that will help you regain some of the confidence you’ve lost. Try to visualize yourself standing on the surface of the globe. You are large enough to be seen from the moon. Look at yourself standing on the big blue marble in the blackness. See yourself as tall and strong. Now see yourself moving about the surface; jog across the United States, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, the North and South Poles, the oceans…jump over Mount Everest. See where you have room for yourself in the world. When you feel like you have claimed and own your place on the Earth, start seeing yourself in a more realistic light, scaled to your actual size relative to the size of the planet. See yourself in “matter”. Recognize that YOU matter. If you matter than what you produce must matter too. You produce your own thoughts and generate your own actions. And this is good. It’s more than good. It’s essential because it’s what gives color to the world around us.
Put simply, a robotic life is an empty life. A life of originality that celebrates your own unique way of being in the world may lead to a more fulfilling life as a confident individual. Thinking globally, if you lead by example, you will help make the world a better place.