Re: Realizing that a lot of people are stupid helped me a lot
Exactly. If a little child (toddler) called me "stupid" I'd be more prone to laugh and enjoy the experience than if an adult made the same comment (although it wouldn't bother me significantly, it would be more bothersome than the child saying it). We assign importance to people's comments, and we only get bothered if we find that person's input to be trustworthy/valid.
I think a lot of anxiety is due to our placing waaaaay too much credit on other people's ability to discern the truth. People are very flawed individuals who are easily overwhelmed by emotions that can drive them to make all sorts of comments, no matter how baseless they might be. Sometimes what they say might be valid, but our reactions should be based on the validity rather than just the fact that so-and-so said something.
If so-and-so told me that aliens visit me nightly, I wouldn't believe them due to there not being evidence. The same sort of standard should apply when it comes to judgements of our worth or character. Do they really know you well? Are they in a calm, rational state of mind? Does their opinion reflect a personal preference, or an absolute truth? Etc.
He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.