Monday, 15 May 2017

Thought 545: On Being Impressed by Others

Being impressed by others is no bad thing, especially when this acts as a spur for self-development, creative exertion and general enlightenment.

However my argument in this post just to say that often we might be impressed by things that come easier to others than to ourselves and are otherwise something these others get energy from which might not be the case for us. 

In other words, when it is the case that being impressed by others is symptomatic of a sense of self-inadequacy then I do not think this usually positive, since if often fails to see areas in which, unbeknownst to us, we have real talent and a valid sensibility unique to our own being. 

Taking myself as an example, my drawings or piano works are far from virtuosic or from reaching a professional standard but they are valid as statements proper to me, just as I happened to be at the time of their creation including in terms of my technical ability and the effort I put in. 

I have also found that many of us are impressed by others who have specialised and learnt skills in areas foreign to us; for example, as someone who doesn't have a job or drive, the fact that someone I know can drive and holds a job down successfully has, particularly in the past, caused me to admire them.

There are of course people - such as on YouTube - who are never impressed by others, at least explicitly, even when they should be, content as they are perhaps with a smug sense of their natural superiority not to mention their current and fixed state of being, even when an outsider would see that these individuals have a great deal of room for improvement and genuine reasons to be more humble and admiring of others than they are willing to admit to themselves. 

In other words, it is perhaps the case that being impressed by others is a sign of a growing as opposed to a fixed understanding of oneself, a sign of humility for the things others can do better than ourselves and for the work they have put in to bring about their achievements and in these senses is a sign of empathetic as opposed to narcissistic intelligence - we find in ourselves what it took for these others to achieve what they did, with the proviso stated above that being impressed can sometimes be fruit of an injustice we commit to ourselves in our self-perception, neglecting as it is easy to do what we ourselves have achieved and can continue to offer the world.