|Examine Your Life
Question Eleven : How much importance should I give to what others think of me?
should not worry about what others 'think of me'. My priority is to
live and walk and talk in this life, in the footsteps and shadows of
Hashem. It is of paramount importance to mirror Hashem, and I should
not give high importance to what others think of me, otherwise I would
be acting and not being myself. I need only to worry what Hashem thinks
Rabbi Schwartz :
verse teaches "Be clean in the eyes of Hashem, and people".* In other
words, though we may be fulfilling Hashem's desires fully, we must also
take care not to create a negative impression in the eyes of others.
Why? - For we want to influence and inspire them towards goodness as
best we can. Therefore, we must do all we can to have them think
positive, happy thoughts about us.
Still, once we make the
effort to influence them positively, we need not obsess over this. We
have acted as best we know how, and should move on to our next project.
area to be careful of is with people who may be thinking to harm us. At
the end of our silent prayer we specifically ask for this, "…and of
those who plan to do evil to us, remove their schemes, and upset their
thoughts." We need to pray for protection from harmful thoughts, and
enhance this prayer by not attracting such evil on ourselves with our
speech and actions.
Thus, we should live ever-conscious of other
people's thoughts and our ability to affect them, directly and
indirectly - for the good.
* Bamidbar 32.22
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