Even if others don’t take us seriously, still we can take ourselves seriously

Suppose we have an important suggestion that can improve a project we are a part of. But our inputs aren’t allowed or asked or acknowledged or appreciated or accepted. We may understandably feel exasperated.

We may wonder, “How can I make others take me more seriously?” We can try various ways of conveying our point more effectively; among such ways, one underused yet powerful way is to take ourselves seriously. 

We may object, “I already take myself seriously.” Do we, really? Taking ourselves seriously doesn’t mean being convinced that we are right or being confident that our suggestion has merit. It means that we dedicate ourselves to demonstrating, according to our capacity, how our input can make things better. And beyond such specifics, taking ourselves seriously essentially means that we take our potential seriously and that we take the process for manifesting that potential seriously.  

By that parameter, who among us can say that we take ourselves seriously? Just consider how much time we waste in chitchatting and mindless net surfing. Or how much emotion we waste craving or lamenting inconsequential things. 

Urging us to take ourselves seriously, the Bhagavad-gita (06.05) states that we need to elevate ourselves with ourselves, not degrade ourselves with ourselves. This means that irrespective of whether people take us seriously or not,  we take responsibility to use seriously whatever abilities and opportunities we have. Thus, we bring the weight of authenticity to ourselves and thereby to our words. 

Even if others still don’t take us seriously, we will grow spiritually if we strive to work in a mood of loving service to our Lord, who has gifted us with whatever abilities we have. He will note our efforts and reward us with sublime inner satisfaction and, by his time, significant outer contribution.

Think it over:

  • What does taking ourselves seriously mean and not mean?
  • How can you take yourself more seriously?
  • How can taking ourselves seriously help us?

***

06.05 One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

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