People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character

"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A person's opinion of the world they live in really seems to be a foolproof litmus test for their strength of character. The tendency towards blame and disdain seems to vary inversely with the virtues of courage and compassion.

The wisest people I know invariably revere the world, and the most ineffective ones hate it. For a while now I’ve believed that cynicism about the world is a method of defense against one's one inadequacy. When a person is defeated at every turn, they tend to peg the whole world as the culprit. This relieves them from the painful responsibilities of humility and growth.

I have been on both sides. Knowing the world as an enemy removes responsibility for oneself. Behaving and speaking as though the world is against you is only a clever way of abandoning any accountability for the state of your life and the world you live in. Knowing the world as an ally instead of an adversary leaves no room for excuses.

I now recognize disdain for the world as sure sign of weakness, not just when I see it in others but also when I catch myself thinking that way. Whenever I'm caught up disparaging this or that, it’s a clear message to any astute observer that in that moment, I've lost my composure and maturity.

If you want to know if a person is a suitable teammate, lover, boss or employee, pay attention to their opinion of the world. It reveals all. Try it and see.
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3 Responses Jan 21, 2013

This message is amazing and so true! Did you write the article yourself? Thanks for your wise words, it made me understand human behaviour a whole lot better!

Wow!! that is some serious deepness.

Did you meditate in a cave or something for the past few days?!? You have been laying down some serious knowledge, young lady. & laying it thick too. I'm sincerely impressed, & wouldn't be too surprised to see you running for president or at least your own business. Keep being awesome Ms. Wild.