September 29, 2004

We often desire acceptance from others. We are insecure
about ourself and need confirmation from other people. We
want to know what others might think about us. To be more
specific, we are looking for acceptance from others by ponder-
ing what others may think about us. In most of the cases, the
truth is that others are not thinking about us at all. Why is it
so hard to rely on ourself? Why do we continuously worry
about how we are perceived by others?

Going after illusions is difficult. Attempting to please oth-
ers by finding out what they might like or think is just as
hard. Our society is full of images and “role models” that
describe and broadcast how we should be and what is “in” at
the moment. The media carefully follows the young, beauti-
ful, and rich and reports on their every move. People consume
these illusions in great numbers. Everybody wants to get his
or her share of the “better” life. We want to be associated with
and be part of the success—or the illusion—of the greater life.
Still, the happiest people are those who find their own way
and follow their unique vision. These are the people who set
new rules and break the old habits. They create something
that has not been done before. They are not afraid to stick
out from the crowd.

Following our instinct and finding the inner self is not
easy. Since our childhood, we have been raised in the middle
of different paradigms, customs, habits, and social expecta-
tions. We are expected to behave a certain way and become
just like the other people (e.g., successful, famous, etc.). It is
hard to realize what it is to be ourself and what we personally
want and believe in. René Descartes, one of the most famous
Western philosophers, did not accept anything per se. He
reconstructed his own perception and understanding of his
existence from real metaphysical fact—he might have
doubted everything else, but he could not doubt that he
existed. From this basis, Descartes started to build his own
view of the world, and he only accepted things that he could
rationally accept and prove by his own methodology and

Most of us may not want to be as thorough as Descartes
was, but still it is worthwhile to consider and question things
around us. Why is a good question to ask for almost every-
thing we do. Often we take things for granted and accept
everything at face value. As a result, we have year after year
pored over someone else’s thoughts and ideas, and we are
filled with those; we cannot distinguish ourselves from other
people’s expectations and points of view. Standing on our own
feet and being able to know and live in a way that we really
feel is the right way is a wonderful thing. When we get the
right choices and answers from within, there is no need to
look for acceptance from the outside. It is enough to be satis-
fied by ourself. Doing the right thing from our own point of
view is enough. We can do nothing more than our best in all
circumstances. And it is enough, provided that we are honest
with ourselves. It does not matter how the others perceive or
think about us anymore.

When we start to know ourself, we start to appreciate
more of our own actions and life. We are thus happier and can
also share the happiness together with other people in our
lives. Accepting ourselves and being content with our own
lives are the first and the most important steps in our exis-
tence. We have to take the first step and do the hard work, but
then we can also enjoy the rewards, like Descartes in the sev-
enteenth century.

This is the original text, and an edited version can be found in the Fragments of Reality -book.