The better way to feel better about ourselves is by appreciation, not denigration

We naturally want to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we try to feel thus by criticizing others. By pointing others’ faults, we think that the world will no longer think too highly about them and will think more highly about us on seeing our cleverness in finding faults.

Though such faultfinding may make us feel better temporarily, it frequently makes things worse. Everyone has a good side and a bad side. Gita wisdom explains that everyone is at the core a pure soul, a part of God, who is covered by varying degrees of conditionings that contaminate the godly essence.

To the extent we focus on the side that’s less than good, to that extent our vision gets caught in the unspiritual and triggers the activation of our unspiritual side. Dwelling on others’ faults especially when we delight in exposing those faults panders to our lower side, thereby opening us to the danger of aggravating that side. Pertinently the Gita (16.02) reminds us that the godly are characterized by an aversion to faultfinding.

Delighting in denigrating others is a bad way to feel good about ourselves. The good way to feel good is by offering constructive criticism privately and sensitively without delighting in the act, but doing it with a sincere desire to help the other person. The better way to feel better about ourselves is by offering appreciation for the good side of others, thereby encouraging them to develop that side. Appreciating others makes us feel better because we become radiators and stimulators of positivity, not negativity. The best way to feel better about ourselves is, of course, to stop looking at the world, either to find fault or to want appreciation for our faultfinding, but instead look inwards and improve ourselves by becoming better.

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