Today I received a compliment of such magnitude that I can barely internalize it, hours later.  It caused me to think deeply about self-worth, and how we decide whether or not we “deserve” compliments.

I put that in quotes because I wonder if it is relevant what we decide about someone else’s opinion.  A genuine compliment is paid regardless of the agreement of the recipient.

For much of my life, I have struggled with the concept of what I deserve versus what I receive.  With few exceptions, I have been what some have called blessed with good fortune, and that, coupled with a strong Roman Catholic upbringing, comes no small amount of concern that I have not earned it.

Yet we earn compliments without having to agree with them. It would be cleaner if we agreed, of course; it is rude to respond to a compliment with a negative statement, not to mention pointless (unless one is angling for the follow-up reaffirmation). Does the compliment, like the insult, say more about the giver than the recipient?

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.