Whose Opinion Matters? - by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Whose Opinion Matters?

I have observed that society in general always seems to honor its living conformists and its dead troublemakers. All those who have ever made a difference in any profession have listened to the inner music they heard and proceeded independent of the opinions of others. That was certainly true of one of my favorite nonconformists, Henry David Thoreau, who walked to the beat of a different drum and followed the beliefs of his conscience. He knew that the beat you hear within yourself is your connection to your soul’s purpose.

My own eight children all march to the beat of their inner music, and in some cases it is definitely far away from what I hear. I’ve had to honor their instincts and their choices, and merely guided them out of harm’s way until they could be their own guides. I have always marched to my own beat, and most frequently it was inconsistent not only with my own immediate family, but with my culture as well. I could never find it in my heart to preach to my listeners to do it my way, when I’ve always pretty much ignored what was being preached to me.

An important teacher of mine, Abraham Maslow, always counseled that it was necessary for the self-actualized individual to be “independent of the good opinion of others.” Walk with Thoreau in your own mind. Listen to the voice you hear, and the drumbeat only you can feel, and honor it, while honoring it in those you love as well. It is the ultimate act of unconditional love. In being true to your inner calling, you may ruffle some feathers but you’ll have the peace and satisfaction of knowing that you fulfilled your divine purpose and encouraged others to do the same. Another brilliant nonconformist, Dr. Seuss, is credited with saying, “Be what you are and say what you feel, because those who will mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

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Comment by Marianne on May 26, 2010 at 7:36am
Hi Alexa:
I'm not a big fan of reading biographies but I'm starting to want to learn more about Lincoln. You're right; most (all?) of the great revolutionaries in history became icons of free-thinking. And they were mostly persecuted for their thoughts at the time. Think Lennon's line "They're gonna crucify me".

I've often wondered why I'm so drawn to the free-thinkers and also how I became one of them myself. And I believe that THIS site is filled with like-minded free-thinkers. I love that!!

M.
xoxooxox
Comment by Alexa on May 25, 2010 at 2:31pm
wow, marianne, so timely today! and with the john lennon tribute too. my hubby is an Abe Lincoln fan, and he was watching a doc on Lincoln a couple weeks ago. the doc said that Lincoln was the most divisive president in american history, and now, perhaps the most honored today. interesting how all the free thinkers (and activists) from poets to authors to ghandi and Jesus Christ were once agents of polarization and pummelled by the oppositing "ruling" party who at the time felt threatened by their message of freedom and equality. when really, it is just a reflection on the fear they are feeling.

and perhaps, like laura bush said recently, (was going to blog on this myself, may still do so, it was so interesting to me) it is indeed just an old paradigm now coming to pass. I saw an interview with her recently and like wayne dyer here, she is a great example that we can all allow and work together for the common "next right thing." Despite dancing to the beats of many different drums. In her recent interview, Laura Bush was also saying that despite her family's political affiliations, she is pro-gay marriage, and also pro-choice for women. she said that she feels the old hierarchy is just old-fashioned, and those old beliefs (and injustices) largely generational. She says "it's just a generational thing" that is coming to pass. Let's hope she's right!

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