When I entered the classroom as a teacher for the first time, I was amazed at the overwhelming desire to be liked. I tried to suppress it -- being liked was not my goal as a teacher. But I was young. Sometimes I felt like I was still surrounded by peers, not students.
Now I am older than my students by DECADES and I really thought those feelings would be gone. But they stubbornly linger. I've come to see that being liked is just a universal desire, whether you are a teacher, a mom, a doctor, or a politician. The danger is allowing the desire to be liked to change and alter who you are and how you evaluate yourself.
I recently had a conversation with someone who was weighed down by the expectations and opinions of others. We debated and analyzed these various opinions until finally I almost shouted, "Oh, who CARES what anyone thinks?!?" It was so freeing to remember that the only opinion that truly matters is God's.
What's that quote that always makes me nervous? "Love God, and do as you please." If we truly love Him, we can do as we please because our "doing" is in line with His love.
To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best,
night and day,
to make you everybody else ---
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.
- e.e. cummings