I would rather be flawed in many ways, and exquisitely beautiful in just one. Than to be mediocre and generally pleasing in every way. This is part of mind cultivation. Figuring out how I can strive for life when so many parts of me are faulty.
People should spare me no sympathy when addressing my faults. For every critique of my character comes as a complement to the things about me that burn bright. Rather than feel miffed about being put down, I shall take absolute pride in it.
Maria Popova writes about Cicero. He thought that envy was not such a bad thing. He saw it as a human response to something that was deeply desired and not yet had. A partner to compassion, which he described as the response to suffering, that one also does not have.
If another’s envy can be used as a marker of the vibrancy of one’s own traits, what is there ever to fear in advice, criticism, and even slander, and insult?
Then, what we should strive for are such praises from people we trust to have higher measures of us. Those who care deeply, have achieved greater, do better, and live more fully than I do, I would listen to for their critique.
But what is this? The higher up that rank I seek, the higher the quality of the praise. In fact, critique no longer tastes bitter, nor sour, but wholesome. Almost sweet. Yes, actually my senses fool me not. They are delectable!
My flaws are not hanging from me like rotten fruits on a dead tree, but in fact they are the lively branches that sustain the aromatic fruit of my being. And those whose natures are powerful and developed enough to truly improve upon me, they are the ones fit to prune and nip buds that pull life away from my fruit.
All else may scratch away at my trunk, letting me know of the decaying twigs and brittle leaves beneath my spread. That is fine, and I am aware of them. Even these remnants of my past will soon be turned to soil and nourishment, channeled to ever more effective routes for better fruit.
And as for the scratchers, may they ever watch the master gardeners, and learn the techniques and subtle methods that are employed, to better express their envy for the growth of humanity, not the destruction.
May we all look toward greatness being performed, and take after it, and make it our own. Let us act on our jealousy, allow it to inspire artful critique upon others, and free the flow of love by it. See what magnificent creations will arise then.