What’s the Fuss About?
Recently I read a post on social media:
“You only live once. So make sure you spend 15 hours on the internet every day, desperately seeking validation from strangers.”
It made me sit up and think. What, really, do we do on social media? Why do we spend countless hours posting constant updates of our lives? And following others’ lives? Why don’t we measure our own happiness or success in life against a yardstick derived from the superfluous posts of others? Do they not do the same? Is it then not a constant game to outdo one another’s “depiction” of happiness? We’re trapped in a mindless game; we’ve forgotten to live in the moment. We dwell on the future.
You might be enjoying a perfectly good lunch with good company in the middle of the day. But your mind is overwhelmingly occupied with the kind of selfies you must take, the kind of filters you’ll apply to taken selfies, and the exquisite captions you’ll cook up to accompany these. You think of logging onto your social media account every couple of hours to check the number of “likes” and “hearts” you’ve received. Can your photo of today’s lunch outsmart yesterday’s photo of your “best” friend cruising in Hawaii?
We’re already caught in a rat-race toward money and perceived success, why must we let ourselves be embroiled in one for happiness or “coolness” too? Why must we compete against each other to prove to the world how perfect our lives are? And if we were indeed happy, why do we have such an overwhelming number of unhappy millennials? People today are unhappy – with their jobs, with their marriages, with their incomes, with their lives. While they’re out chasing a good time, they still can’t seem to find happiness. And herein lies the importance of self-acceptance.
Want is Self-Acceptance?
Accept yourself for who you are – work earnestly, love sincerely, and learn to be content with what you have. The grass may appear greener on the other side; but accept your own lawn and water it enough, and you’ll soon have a lawn green enough for you.
Self-acceptance is the key to true happiness. In fact, the absence of self-acceptance is often thought to be a leading cause of mental illness among the young generation. Find happiness within yourself. Embrace yourself, including all your imperfections. Look inward for solutions to your problems without criticizing the outside world, and you’ll have accepted yourself.
Self-acceptance also allows you to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, which means you can use these to your advantage, thus effectively overcoming the problems you started out with. Tap into your strengths to find the true meaning of your existence, and work on your weaknesses with an open mind to turn them into strengths as well. Through self-acceptance, you build strength of character. It lets you bend when the storm comes, not break. Then once the storm passes, it lets you get back up, dust yourself, and get back to work.