Honest Admiration

Christina - prospect, Connecticut
Entered on May 5, 2008

I believe in the value of honest admiration.

I remember the very first graphic design class I ever took. I’ve always been encouraged to follow my creativity and developed a true confidence in my talent. But this class discouraged me to the point where I thought I would never progress. Everyone else in the class was getting higher grades than me on their projects- projects that seemed like it only took them a class period to finish and perfect and that made me think to myself “Oh, I could do that.” But I hadn’t done it, and I came to the realization that if I wanted to create work that was just as impressive I would have to accept and learn from my classmates and stop considering them competition. I quickly found that no matter how much I tried to talk down someone else’s work it never made mine any better. Nor did it make that person any worse.

To see things in other people that you wish you could see in yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not a weakness to imitate others who have accomplished great things. This is how we learn from each other and better ourselves. Allowing your pride to stop you from accepting someone’s talent thus convincing yourself that what they’re doing has no value or doesn’t matter is a selfish, stubborn reaction. However, when you allow yourself to be impressed by someone or to see the value in their success and greatness your perspective on how you can reach your own dreams of being incredible change.

We grow up idolizing celebrities and famous creators, but there are people all around us who have a genius that merits jealousy. A jealousy that is accepted in our society, fueled by constant materialistic and economic competition. This jealousy is something I see as an insecurity. I think it is important to free yourself of jealousy and accept when someone has a talent and creativity that can be admired and learned from. It’s sad to me to think that there are people making selfless sacrifices and changing the world in unheard of ways while the rest of us are nonchalantly disregarding amazing people because of petty selfishness.

If we stop dismissing our thoughts of others’ greatness we can progress together. It is as simple as being honest about what you truly think is fantastic about someone. Looking past personal insecurities and ignoring your conscience awareness of your imperfections is the first step.

There are influences throughout life that shape us and allow us to learn about ourselves and what we want in life. These influences are largely from the people surrounding us or those that we look up to. As human beings we are instinctually competitive, with high expectations, and want what’s best for ourselves. This selfishness can turn us into brutal enemies. We stomp out aspects that are positive and impressive in other people in order to make ourselves feel better.

These are experiences that happen to me everyday with things that I am passionate or competitive about. And I think that these feelings of jealousy are commonly viewed as just a part of healthy competition, but they’re so much more than that. Reacting in a way that discourages people’s accomplishments and greatness is a way of spreading negativity. That is the path most often taken even though it is so simple for anyone to create peace just by letting their guard down and openly admiring others.