The effects of vanity

The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

ImageThere is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of our achievements. Success requires hard work and wisdom but it also requires support from others. Without our relatives, friends, colleagues, and loved ones; none of us would be able to make anything happen.
What happens when we forget (or decide to forget) the role others played in our success? We become vain.
People don’t realize they are becoming vain and, in most cases, they never do – unless someone brings it to their attention and, in that case, they seldom listen. Vanity shields us from other people’s generosity and support. It builds a wall around us that, however invisible to us, seems painted in neon orange for others. Vanity is like a pill that makes us forget everything everyone has ever done for us, and tricks us into believing that we have never needed and will never need anyone else’s help.
When I have spoken with people who are extremely successful – even famous – the one thing that has stood out for me, in all of them, is that they still remember where they came from and thus, they know who they are. There may be a sense of pride in each of them when they have overcome difficult circumstances – and they should be proud! Yet this pride never outshines their gratitude towards others and towards the Universe. These people know that it takes a village to accomplish important goals – and their ongoing projects are usually always about doing something for the higher good, giving back to the community, or educating others.
Self-knowledge is the most effective tool to prevent vanity from happening. Knowing ourselves allows us to honor our past and our origins every day, and makes it possible for others to create bonds of love, trust and support with us.
How do you keep vanity at bay? Or – do you? I’m always listening at docbeverly@aol.com.

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