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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remember That What Other People Think of You Is None of Your Business

For a short while I attended a "metaphysical" church in Pasadena.

The people were great, the leadership excellent. But the "ministers" (the threshold for ordination was rather low, as I recall) were prone to use expressions that were so corny they made Al Franken's character Stuart Smalley look sage. (Two "Smalleyisms" I remember: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it! People like me!" and "You’re 'shoulding' all over me!")

Nevertheless, corny though they were, there was truth in some of the sayings slung at me at that church.

The main purveyor (one wants to say "perpetrator") was a portly fellow, a little older than me, who for compassion's sake shall remain nameless.

The first time I got wise to his corn quotient was when he asked me, "Ya know how ta spell 'guru,' dontcha?" And rube that I am, I asked, "How?" Pointing at me, he intoned sagaciously, "Gee, you are you." See what I mean?

But one of the bits of cornpone wisdom that I brought away from there is this little gem, which has served me well: "What other people think of you is none of your business."

This idea has come up again and again. I recently heard it put another way: "People's reactions to you have more to do with them than they do with you."

I like that too (though it lacks the cleverness of "none of your business").

Anyway, when you're feeling judged and found wanting, and miserable as a result, just remember the "kernel" of this corny idea.

You'll be happier.

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered that this is the title of a book by Terry Cole Whitaker: "What You Think of Me is None of My Business." (Some of the best spiritual quotes either started as book titles, or became book titles!)