Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Accepting a Compliment

--by usagi, posted Jun 5, 2014
Today, I allowed someone give me a compliment. This may sound strange, but I realized that most of the time when someone tries to say something nice to me, it is my instinct to down play it and contradict them.

I used to think it was me trying to be humble, but have realized that I was actually not allowing them experience the appreciation they were feeling.

Accepting a gift or compliment with grace and appreciation becomes a two way act of kindness.
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Readers Comments

Radhakrishnan wrote: Brilliant perspective. Thank you very much :-)
Radhakrishnan P wrote: Profound observation, i liked it :-)

Handling fame or praise is more difficult than handling infamy or blame. Therefore, one who is serious about his spiritual growth should carefully avoid being in the limelight or being praised for his noble qualities, behavior or actions. However, as you rightly observed, accepting a gift or compliment is a two way act of kindness.

Also, here is another reason why one must accept genuine compliments. In the bhagavad-gita, krishna enjoins arjuna to cultivate humility (amanitvam: 13. 8), yet he apparently doesn’t aid such cultivation: he repeatedly glorifies arjuna profusely with epithets such as the greatest member of his dynasty (kuru-sattama: 4. 31) and the greatest human being (purusharshabha: 2. 15). This he does in order to help arjuna reject simplistic stereotypes of humility – stereotypes that center on arjuna's so-called compassion for his kinsmen, which was becoming a justification for shirking his ksatriya duty of fighting.

Sometimes, we are also reluctant to accept fame or praise because we believe they will give rise to pride, which is a demoniac quality. However, if we learn to accept fame or praise on behalf of our preceptor (guru) and the supreme lord, krsna, then the same fame can act as instruments in furthering our spiritual mission or service to krsna.
petroskryf wrote: So true! Thank you for reminding us about that.
jomartin87112 wrote: when my mentor noticed my trouble allowing people to give to me, he pointed out that if no one takes, no one can give - it can still be difficult for me, but I know he was right
MtnGoat wrote: Good one!

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