In today’s Charlie Brown Classic Cartoon Charlie is looking out of the panel as he says, “You don’t like me, do you?” (Next panel) “Well, for your information, it doesn’t bother me a BIT that you don’t like me because NOBODY likes me!” (Next panel) “If SOMEBODY liked me, then it would bother me if YOU didn’t like me< but…” (Next panel, looking at the reader,) “That doesn’t even make sense!”
No, Charlie, it doesn’t make sense. Not only have you talked yourself around in a circle, but the premise is wrong. The initial declaration is right: it makes no difference whether the unknown character likes him or not. Charlie is Charlie, and we all in the real world love him. We even like him in all his mediocre quirkiness. The unknown character has no power over the intrinsic value of Charlie Brown. But caught in the world he is in, it is obvious that he thinks it is important, and therefore it becomes important, even though it’s not.
In the real world, that is, yours and mine, it works the same. If someone else doesn’t like you, that’s their stuff. If you’re doing your best to be true to yourself and to treat others as you would have them treat you, if you’re working to connect with others and not lose yourself in the process, then what others think is a reflection of their struggles to do the same. They have no power to diminish the essential value of a human being.
I believe that the most fundamental thing about any human being is that they are created by a God whose very nature and heart is unconditional and limitless love. Therefore, if the foundation of the universe is love, and I am a part of the universe, I am loved unconditionally and without limit. And so are you, and so is the one who doesn’t like you. So, barring practical reasons why it might be important that someone like you, it makes no difference at all whether or not they do. Really!
Funny thing: Not caring whether they like you or not sets the stage for them to like you. When you are yourself there is something to like (not so when you’re someone else.) Liking them first is the clearest invitation to respond in kind. It may not be important, but it’s nice!