Rejection and Honour

Rejection is not pleasant. When you have a certain attachment to your ego and you have painted a picture, an image of your identity in your head and then suddenly you see it shatter right in front of you, it threatens the image you have of yourself.

This is partly why people say rejection stings, but it will always be more useful than failure to act or avoidance of confrontation with what you find intimidating or terrorizing. More often than not, people have a tendency to mistake false evidence for reality and then get spooked by it for a while, because such sensations are quite short-lived, they have a fleeting half-life that could not be permanently prolonged.

Nonetheless, it could be deliberately extended through entrapping yourself in a vicious circle and preserving its power over you for much longer than is necessary. Furthermore, rejection has a particular way of making you grow uncertain, insecure and dubious about your worth and what you’re made of. The people who take rejection seriously and actually feel overwhelmed by it are those who are insecure and dubious, to begin with, rejection merely aroused what was already there. A person who knows his worth will not lose it at the first instance it is threatened by what lies outside it, such a character is not firm but fragile and swayed by what is fundamentally beyond its total control. 

Your outlook on rejection must be revised before you get rejected again, because a rejection that is poorly dealt with and treated could prove to be detrimental to your progress and improvement. The rejection itself is not the problem here and this is crucial to discern unless you understand that you do not have total control over what happens in external situations and that you can’t go on avoiding rejections as a means of defending yourself.

Attempting to avoid inner conflict as a way of coping with a potential rejection is not useful, it merely enforces the problem at hand and makes you more avoidant than you were before, which in turn will drive you further away from the essence of the problem, that is, to alter your outlook on rejections so that when it is received, your internal attitude is not enfeebled by what is basically an uncontrollable occurrence.

You have absolute control over your actions and attitudes but you don’t have the same control over the actions and attitudes of others. Thus, there is an uncontrollable element in life which is simultaneously divine and inscrutable. The unpredictable and unexpected nature of life is what makes it thrilling but also mysterious and boundless. If life were to lose this uncontrollable aspect and we had total control over everything, including the exact course of future events, life would not be as meaningful as it is and existence itself would lack a striking sense of astonishment, which makes life itself an incredible and breathtaking ride which will never be uncovered. 

Going back to rejection, if you understand its basic nature, then, you can see how trivial it actually is to get rejected. Think about it, a rejection shattered the image you have of yourself and as a result, you are upset about it because you have an evident attachment to this image which exists only in your head and nowhere else. Do you see how preposterous this is? It puts things into perspective, it shows you that it is the image that is causing you upset and not the rejection itself. Therefore, you must transform your self-image by strengthening it and aligning it with reason and virtue. A weak self-image shatters easily as it is not grounded in firm virtue but weak shortcoming. This is why the weak have a hard time dealing with rejection whereas the strong are able to reject the rejection itself, as it were, and preserve their integrity without being shattered by non-acceptance.

A large part of dealing with rejection the right way is having mastery over your emotions and then arming yourself with adequate rationality to overcome the irrational feelings which compel you to act in opposition to reason. For one to overcome this inclination towards irrationality requires the cultivation of sensible, pragmatic and good reason as well as a mindful detachment from emotional thought. Remember, emotional thoughts are very fleeting but you willingly keep them around for longer than intended because you lack the reasonability and objectivity to push aside their influence and delay acting on them as a means of preserving reason. Thus, negative emotion is dragged out when you deliberately obsess over it and attempt to break it down into small minute parts and then trying to make sense of the disarray you have generated. 

When you have mastered your emotions, rejection is an invitation and not an injury. It is an invitation for advancement and refinement – if you can discern a rejection well and examine it without immobilizing yourself in the process, you can extract its inherent insight, which will fortify your character and galvanize your future actions. Most often, when rejection is misinterpreted and taken to heart, as most people tend to receive it, they don’t get to understand the insight instilled in it and all they derive from it is offence and suffering, which too are essential in some cases. But, when you can observe a rejection with rationality unclouded by emotion, not only will you derive its inherent wisdom but you will also rouse a sense of acceptance and thanks for having received such a sore rejection.

Ultimately, it is your discrimination of a rejection that determines how it will affect your sense of worth and honour. The honourable man is not swayed by rejection, a woman may attempt to poke a hole in his armour but his dignity is too sturdy to be injured and his perception too clear to be obscured by it. The nature of strong honour, then, is directed from within and its force is spirited enough so as not to be provoked by anything inferior, unreasonable or trivial. 

Publius Syrus remarks “No one ever lost honour but him who never had any.” You see, people who have honour are not disposed to lose it. But people who don’t have honour are always disposed of losing it since they never had it. Therefore, a strong sense of honour is never easily repudiated amidst threatening or otherwise acute situations, its solid foundation is the signification of good character and virtue itself and such stable basis are improbable to give in to weakness; anger, impulsive cravings, indulgence and avarice. What is left when honour is lost? Honour forms the groundwork of man, it cultivates his virtue, elevates his morals, commands both respect and admiration, and wins him favour and good name.

The abandonment of it, then, could be found to be the renouncement of virtue itself, because all that is of man’s responsibility requires a strong sense of honour, whether it is a continual discipline or the deliberate restraining from hedonism or indulgence. Honour teaches the man the nature of his own essential qualities through strengthening their might and alleviating the lesser evils while will prove to be impotent to his progress. Nonetheless, one must remember that expansive integrity demands unity and coherence. To preserve honour is simultaneously to preserve the unity and coherence of your inner workings. When there are division and conflict within, honour is found in opposition with vice. In other words, honour comes to be frail and infirm, transforming into dishonour. The degradation of dishonour stems from this divisive conflict which tarnishes one’s good points and amplifies one’s weak points through the overt demonstration of corruption and moral decay.

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