Once, not everyone was granted permission to enter [to hear the earlier Rebbeim, and the Previous Rebbe himself, deliver Chassidus or the like], and this was beneficial. Those who were allowed to enter felt an uplifted spirit, while those who were denied entry felt a crushed heart.I do not believe that the Previous Rebbe is saying that we are not able to respond as was typical in former times, or that no one still responds in this way. Rather, the Previous Rebbe is saying that the generations have declined such that since such a response is much more common, the potential damage outweighs the benefits of such an approach.
Nowadays, however, everyone may be permitted entry. For [if only some will be allowed in and not others] the one who enters will feel an inner elevation in the form of arrogance, while the one who does not enter is in a state of coarseness, in which he is distressed that so-and-so went in, and he didn’t.
Sefer HaMa’amarim Admur HaRayatz 5710, p. 245.
However, this sicha can teach us what two of the goals of our efforts at self-refinement ought to be, and provide indicators of whether we are succeeding at our efforts in self-refinement. We need to ask ourselves:
When we receive an honor or distinction of some sort that others do not receive, does it uplift us positively, inspiring us to even greater heights, or does it lead to arrogance?
When we are denied a privilege that is granted to others, do we feel humbled and resolve to change, or do we allow ourselves to be preoccupied with jealousy of them?