THE MOST COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE WAY TO RECEIVE HONOR IS TO PURSUE IT
Avot Chapter 2:10
Rabbi Eliezer said: "Let the honor of your friend be as dear to you as your own; and be not easily provoked to anger."
Avot Chapter 4:21
Rabbi Elazar HaKafar said: "Jealousy, lust and [the desire for] honor put a man out of the world."
Seek not greatness for yourself, and covet not honor more than your learning; neither crave you for the table of kings, for your table is greater than their table, and your crown is greater than their crown, and your Employer can be trusted to pay the reward for your labor.
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1. What place does honor have in your life?
2. When Rabbi Elazar HaKafar says that the desire for honor puts a person out of the world what does he mean?
3. What is unseemly about seeking greatness for yourself?
4. What is noble about caring for the dignity and honor of others?
Preoccupation with honor is distracting. It saps energy. It saps passion and it makes the self the center. At that moment, a person is no longer a part of the world. There is no vision, there is no mission, there is no relationship to anything other than the self.
Here is the irony. Honor requires recognition from others. The act of pursuing honor is the biggest inhibitor for gaining the desired recognition. The pursuit of honor is often viewed as blatant dishonorable behavior. Honor is earned, but it cannot be the goal of your efforts.