One of the hardest things I’ve had to face is the fact that it’s very difficult — and perhaps not necessarily optimal — to be liked, much less loved by everyone, all the time.
This may seem like an especially obvious notion, but hear me out 😉
There’s this one fellow I know who is pretty prominent in one of my social circles who is universally loved. I’m not exaggerating.
I’ve heard a lot of gossip in my day, but I’ve heard not one single iota of negativity in conjunction with this fellow’s name.
His colleagues adore him. Women adore him. Guys worship him.
He’s revered in person and given standing ovations. He’s consistently praised and admired in online communities as well.
He has, seemingly, achieved the impossible — he’s universally loved.
I, on the other hand, have both my fans and my detractors. I’ve been lauded as a friendly, giving person… and also vilified as a “fucking idiot” and “immensely annoying.”
Some of the negativity stems from my penchant for taking stands, for speaking my mind regularly and on a broad array of topics. By nature of being vocally opinionated, I’ve managed to aggravate and occasionally alienate those who strongly hold opposing views.
And that’s what’s particularly fascinating about the Universally Loved fellow. He keeps his mouth shut. Undoubtedly he shares his opinions and his feelings with those close to him, but for the rest of the populace, he smiles, asidiously avoids getting involved in any controversies or debates, and thus continues living and loving unscathed and unencumbered by negativity.
What a brilliant man.
And if I could go back and live my life over again, perhaps I’d choose his path. Would you?
In the meantime, I have at least resigned myself to the reality that it is too late for me to be universally loved. I must instead just appreciate the friendships and admiration I’ve cultivated and earned, and gracefully accept the controversies and disdain I’ve brought upon myself through my outspokenness.
In the meantime, I’m working to develop thicker skin… while still not dulling my sensitivity and positive outlook on the world. Alas, that’s not always easy, is it?