Self Respect

30 10 2012

I came upon this here.

I was using StumbleUpon, my new best friend. (I was no longer sufficiently serving my previous best friends, so they walked away. 🙂 )

It got me thinking… as trivial things often will. On the face of it, it seems sensible enough. Respect yourself enough to avoid harm from others or situations that are belittling to who you are. But then I re-read it a few times. “No longer serve you”. Hm. “… or makes you happy”. Hmm, hmm.

I actually think it goes way beyond suggesting self-respect, and actually encourages self-love.

I know, I know, it’s just some cheap throw-away “daily dose” kind of thing, but it hints at a wider malaise, I think. The more we think of ourselves and our own well-being, the less we think of others. The less we think of others, the greater the distance we place between ourselves and our community. The more isolated we become. In the end there is nobody who CAN respect, or love us, because nobody even knows us! We interact via “social media” rather than by being truly social. We find personal connections via websites rather than conversations.

Does our family serve us? Should we then walk away?

Should we abandon our angst-ridden teenager because they’re most definitely not making us happy right now?

Of course we should respect ourselves, as we should respect others. (I remember that from “The Scout Law” I learned as an 11 year old!) But that falls far short of being self-centred. Sometimes we have the greatest respect for ourselves when we put ourselves out there. Doing things that are personally uncomfortable in order to bring someone else relief, or ease their pain in some way.

Or just smile at a stranger. No reason. Just because they looked like they could use one.

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4 responses

30 10 2012
daterofboys

I took it in the “partner” way…not about family…not about teenagers who aren’t fully formed and angst-ridden by nature (but who just need reassurance and help finding themselves).
Keep friends/lovers who lift you up…discard the ones who bring you down and make you less of yourself.
Reading this was exactly what I needed right now, after watching my ex-boyfriend, who I work with, flirt with the girl sitting on the other side of him at the meeting we just had. If we weren’t on the same team, I would have severed the tie long ago.

30 10 2012
Quieter Elephant

I totally buy the self-respect, avoiding people who pull you down thing. As in your example.
I just didn’t like the implication that we deserve to be served by others, and it’s all about me.

30 10 2012
lanceleuven

I respect myself enough to walk away from the person who lives by this rule! Sounds incredibly selfish, shallow, and narcissistic to me.

30 10 2012
Quieter Elephant

🙂 I’m sure we’ve all already given it more thought than the original Hallmark author.

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