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In all endeavors,
seek to avoid mistakes,
not win praise.

It’s probably no exaggeration to say that the vast majority of us like to be praised.

This is not necessarily all bad. Praise from those entrusted with the responsibility to raise us, teaches us how to behave respectfully and ethically. It encourages us to act in ways that enhance our lives and not detract from them. Clearly good.

But praise should not drive our behavior because that would make praise our goal. Rather, our goal should be to not make mistakes—either technically or ethically. Those who wish us to become honorable adults teach and exemplify honorable behavior and humility. For whatever reasons, others less fortunate may grow up craving praise. At any cost. And so from misguided people on Twitter to the neighborhood teenager with an Instagram account, we have people who will do anything for attention, for praise.

A terribly risky, and sad, way to live.


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