I was probably born with a placard hanging around my neck saying, "Praise Me". Unfortunately, it was probably written in some language that no-one could read - Egyptian hieroglyphics springs to the mind as a possible option - since no-one acted upon that request. Or, maybe, it is that unreasoning idea that someone should be praised only when he/she had done something worthy of praise - and people are so very persnickety about what they considered to be worthy.
The less you get of something, the more you want it. So, you can imagine a teenager lurking around with ears sharpened to hear something that was complimentary of him since those were the days when parents believed, "Give some praise and spoil the child" in addition to the more usual one about sparing the rod. So, there were a lot more rods than praises in my life then.
Ah! Where was I? Eavesdropping to hear words of praise? Well - you know what they say about what eavesdroppers hear about themselves. How true it is of the world at large I have no idea - but, of me , it most certainly was the absolute truth. I came to know I had many more shortcomings than I had imagined to exist in the world but, of praise, I heard not a single word.
It is thus that, even now, I practically go about with a fishing rod to hook some compliments. The more routine angling may yield fish but this fishing for compliments is a totally infructuous exercise. You invariably end up losing your bait and cannot raise a single compliment in the process.
Over a period, I have found that I am not the only one with "Praise Me" around my neck. Almost all of humanity was probably born with that placard around the neck. It is only that it is neon-lit in cases like mine and it goes all the way to people whose placards are nearly wiped clean - but not quite.
Yudhishtir is reputed to have said that the biggest miracle in the world is the fact that people still do not believe in their own mortality despite seeing people dying all around them. I think he got it wrong. The biggest miracle is the fact that people know how happy praise makes them but, invariably, do not hand out praise even to the people whom they purportedly want to make happy.
Or, maybe, Yudhistir thought of that not as the biggest miracle but as the biggest folly?