Do Not Pay Them Too Much Honour

The day after burning the White House in 1812, Rear Admiral George Cockburn set his sights on a newspaper building. The National Intelligencer had printed articles calling Cockburn a “ruffian” and he’d had enough. The admiral ordered his sailors to take the building apart brick by brick and instructed, “Be sure that all the C’s are destroyed, so that the rascals cannot any longer abuse my name.”

The newspaper was rebuilt and continue publishing into the mid-1800s.

Instead of tearing down buildings and destroying the “C’s”, Arthur Shopenhauer offers another way to balance external viewpoints. He writes,

We will gradually become indifferent to what goes on in the minds of other people when we acquire an adequate knowledge of the superficial and futile nature of their thoughts, of the narrowness of their views, of the paltriness of the sentiments, of the perversity of their opinions, and the number of their errors…We shall then see that whoever attaches a lot of value to the opinions of the others pays them too much honour.”

If you’re doing something big, if you’re doing something worthwhile…they will call you a ruffian (at best).

What value you attach to their opinions is up to you.

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