I must admit there was a great commercial. It featured Uncle Sam preparing to consume a hot dog. The announcer was touting the higher standards of Hebrew National hotdogs – due to their being Kosher in comparison to the USDA requirements. “The US government permits additives and fillers under federal regulations, Since we are Kosher, Hebrew National can’t,” panning up to the heavens and stating “we answer to a higher authority”, Then some heavenly music.
I don’t know know the reliability of Hebrew National – I try to avoid hot dogs. Ask your local “orthodox” rabbi – but it was a great commercial.
I used to be in the dress to impress scene. The Polos, the Lacoste, the Ralph Lauren shirts and ties, the works. I would try to impress others – with my labels & dress and my fashion. I was a fashion setter. I was one of the first to wear the two watches, to have an Apple computer (the Apple II plus) and to be fashionably unique.
As I got older – and hopefully wiser – I figured – what do I need to impress others? Learning Torah, I started realizing the need to impress was time wasted. Yes, I do dress nicely now – but not to impress – to appear neat and elegant but not to attract looks.
I try to be nice, but my main focus is to please Hash-m / G-d. Less pressure. Less shelling out thousands for wardrobes – so that others will say “wow – you look great.”
I don’t need others telling me that. I feel comfortable enough with myself – that I don’t need others accolades.
When I try to please Hash-m and work on myself to be the best person I can be – kind, giving, patient, helpful etc. I feel fulfilled internally. I don’t need external praise to make me feel good. Even though it is good to hear it once in a while – I don’t live for it.
Instead of relying on others for me to appreciate myself, I can appreciate myself independently. I benchmark myself not on what others do or say. I see if I am properly following the way G-d want’s me to be.
In short – I try to “answer to a higher Authority.”