Care about others, but not what others think.

Quick, list off all the people you can think of who died over one hundred years ago. Chances are the list isn’t super long. Even if you’re an historian, there are millions of people you can’t name. Yet, those millions of people who’s name you’ll likely never know had a life that has just as much to it as yours. They had families of their own, jobs, problems, joys, sorrows, triumphs that you’ll never know about. Consider this, there are people who were presidents of the United States whose lives have been relegated to the trivia bin of history.

Now, think about all the billions of people who are alive now who you’ll never know. They’re in the same boat. A full robust life that you’ll never know about. Consider this, that to most of those billions of people in the world, that’s you. Most people will never meet you. Moreover, many of the thousands who do meet you just aren’t that interested. It’s not that they’re selfish, it’s that they’re normal.

So, use this knowledge. Use the knowledge of the uniqueness of the lives of others. Let this drive compassion and interest in others, but recognize also that you shouldn’t agonize over what people think. Recognize that their thoughts probably aren’t harsh diatribes against you, they’re probably musings of their inner critic. They’re probably concerns about their life.

Therefore, don’t spend time fretting over other’s opinions of you. No matter how they act, you’ll never be inside their head so you’ll always be making an educated guess. Instead, look for opportunities to give to others that may make their self talk a little bit better. Show brotherly love to everyone you can. You may never be one of the few who makes history. However, you can be one of the few who, with compassion makes the lives of all around you better.

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