Awakening Our Intrinsic Value

Intrinsic ValueOne way to overcome our tendency to compare ourselves with others is through learning how to praise ourselves for our unique, intrinsic value.

A common concern about self-praise is that it may cause arrogance, probably due to our Judeo-Christian tradition in which self-humiliation is often regarded as a necessary virtue to praise God, while self-praise is deemed as a sign of pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins. It should be noted, however, that arrogance is a defensive posture caused by a tendency to assume a sense of superiority or inferiority by comparing oneself with others. Therefore, so long as we praise ourselves solely for who we are and for our innate Buddhahood, we will never become arrogant, though we may at times seem arrogant to arrogant people.

Indeed, the greatest way to praise ourselves is prayer that sincerely affirms our supreme potential as the Daishonin states, When you chant Myoho and recite Renge, you must summon up deep faith that Myoho-renge-kyo is your life itself (WND, 3).

As we praise ourselves in this way, we will grow confident yet humble because we start to recognize the same quality of Buddhahood in others as well. Appreciation for oneself leads to appreciation for others, which further strengthens self-esteem. The way we see ourselves is not only the way we live our lives, but also the way we relate to others.

(from the November 9, 2001 World Tribune)

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