We are all guilty of this slavery-inducing act: seeking validation.
I say slavery-inducing because that is what it is. We become slaves to other people opinions and we cannot live our lives correctly and free because of this disgusting vice.
It’s not wrong to receive praise but it is how it affects you however what matters , Seneca says:
You can tell the character of every man when you see how he gives
and receives praise.
A person that is looking for praise is ignorant. Virtue is the sole good . We cannot be free unless we come to accept that the only good we are ever going to have is within from the very beginning (the power to act correctly, live with virtue).
The search for praise is expecting others to approve of us so we can approve ourselves. It’s just that, it is like asking for permission to be ok with ourselves and our acts (and so they become false). So, there are different ways in which we can receive praise, one is correct and the other is not. If we do it for the wrong reasons, we will feel as if we need praise, as if we need it to feel complete.
The good news is that you don’t really need it or even want it, think about it!
Why would you want something you already have yourself! It’s your opinion the one that matters as no one else rules over your life but you.
Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.
– Lao Tzu
This is no easy task however. I bet you that if you post something on instagram you will be concerned of how many likes you are getting. We live in a culture of praise. Everyone is looking for applause and it has become an addiction. The sick thing about the situation is that we are looking everywhere for praise, even from people we don’t know or even like.
How mad is he who leaves the lecture-room in a happy frame of mind simply because of applause from the ignorant ! Why do you take pleasure in being
praised bv men whom you yourself cannot praise ?
Now, Living correctly is done silently. You only need your own approval so as Seneca says:
Let philosophy be worshipped in silence.For what is baser than philosophy courting applause ? Does the sick man praise the surgeon while he is operating ?
Stoicism is very practical, it can be practiced all the time. Amor fati, love everything that happens, live in the moment, be courageous. All this virtues are accessible to you right now and there is no need for them to be approved, they don’t seek nor need approval to be practiced , so what are you waiting for to live correctly and proudly?
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