Our first responsibility

Maria Popova is prolific with her regular output of curated wisdom on brainpickings.org. I recently read an interview with her on The Great Discontent (another great site). She has an interesting story. Here’s a bit of wisdom from the interview:

I truly, truly believe that our first responsibility is to ourselves—to be true to our sense of right and wrong, our sense of purpose and meaning. That’s how we contribute to the world. Anyone who is able to do that for him or herself is already contributing a great deal of human potential into our collective, shared pool of humanity.

Don’t let other people’s ideas of success and good or meaningful work filter your perception of what you want to do. Listen to your heart and mind’s purpose; keep listening to that and even when the “shoulds” get really loud, try to stay in touch with what you hear within yourself. -Maria Popova

The opinions and expectations of others can be instructive as well as destructive. To be your best and do your best means first being true to your own vision of what that means for you.