We Need More Self Respect

A single flower in the rubble of a destroyed building signifying the hope that builds from self respect.

Everywhere you look there is outrage.  Widespread protests against governments occur in every corner of the world. The root of the outrage is usually bad behavior. And its usually by those in charge. Regardless of whether leaders are elected, promoted, or crowned by society, many no longer take their responsibility to respect others seriously.  And it goes beyond leaders.  Disrespect for others and lack of common courtesy are found everywhere.  People don’t respect others because they don’t respect themselves. Personal values are abandoned to chase coin or power. And as a result, people have lost their self-respect.  Without it, people are free to trample on others in their self-centered pursuits.

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Bad Behavior on Display

We weave injustice, narcissism, and bad behavior into our fabric. Spot it easily in politics, business, and entertainment.  Our elected leaders are currently chasing impeachment of the President on thin evidence of any crime committed.  Those running the show ignore protocol, dismiss transparency, and toss aside fairness. Meanwhile, the president publicly attacks his enemies.  Bad behavior all around. 

Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul, is brought down because of inappropriate sexual conduct.  This week on the television series, Survivor, the inuendo of inappropriate sexual behavior was part of the “game play” as contestents maneuvered to vote out rivals. Charges of sexual misconduct is not a game. It’s beyond bad behavior and permanently scars lives. How can people behave so badly and still face themselves in the mirror?  

But I’m wonderful!

Self esteem and self respect are two different things.  Self esteem is your perception of youself.  Politicians and business leaders generally have high self esteem.  They hold power and often, they are wealthy.  That combination feeds their egos.  Self respect is different.  It stems from your personal values. It shows in your actions.  Most importantly, self respect determines the way you treat other people. Treating someone with disrespect, ignoring bad behavior in others, and not holding others accountable to high standards of behavior are all signs of low self-respect.  The higher your self respect, the better you will treat others and the world becomes a better place.  World peace doesn’t start with foreign policy, it actually starts with you.

The Gift That Gives Back

The holiday season is upon us and soon millions of people will scurry to fit holiday traditions into the few open spaces on already-full schedules.  Along with gifts you may give to others, here’s a gift you can give to yourself.  Take some time and recommit to your personal values and vision.  What values are important to you?  What types of behavior do you want to surround your life?  Are your priorities in line with your values?  Then take control.  Choose friends that share your values. Live your life guided by your values. Be aware of your actions, they will tell you if you are being true to your values. Everyone makes mistakes in judgement. When that happens, stay true to your values and correct your course.  Your self respect will rise. Your happiness will increase and your corner of the world will be better for it.