Do you respect yourself? Meaning– do you trust yourself? Do you consult your own conscience before consulting others? Can you look back into your own soul, and truly see and understand your own thinking and intentions? Do you have high regard, consideration, and do you trust in yourself?
The tricky thing about ‘respecting’ others
This is the tricky thing in life:
Not everyone interprets “respect” in the same way.
For example in different cultures, ‘respect’ is seen differently. In Asian-Confucian society, respect is seen through quiet obedience. In American society, respect is seen through heaping of praise in an overt manner.
And even more problematic:
You cannot force others to “respect” you.
Therefore from a Stoic and rational perspective– it seems the only thing we should focus in our lives is self-respect. Self-admiration, and self-consolation of our own conscience, and our own self-judgement in life.
What does ‘self-respect’ mean?
Simply put, to me, self-respect means:
- Not compromising your inner-vision
- Not ignoring your inner-voice
- Not obeying the commands of others if it contradicts what you believe in
- Not admiring the opinion of others over your own opinion
I think in modern life, it is difficult to have self-respect. Why? We are told to be “selfless” (Christian morality) which is this:
Being selfish and self-centered/self-focused is evil.
Once again let us consider the words here. If you tell someone that they are “selfish” you are essentially saying: “You are a horrible and evil person”.
However, perhaps a better wording or phrase is “self-focused”. This sounds better in American English, because to “focus” is seen as a positive trait.
Anyways, modern morals and ethics dictate that we must respect the opinion of others over our own opinion.
This is a problem– this squashes the individual, and makes our individual and self-opinion small. As a consequence, I think our own self-esteem and our own self-respect is belittled, and chipped away slowly (from childhood until adult-hood).
In praise of stubbornness
Whenever we don’t obey the commands of others, or when we don’t live the way in which others think we should live, we are seen as “ego-centric”, “selfish”, “stubborn”, or an “asshole”.
For example, most people love iPhones, and their Apple devices, yet called Steve Jobs an asshole, and saw him (mostly) in a negative light. Sure– they loved the Apple products, yet they saw a personal fault in the man (Steve Jobs).
Yet– it is Steve Jobs’ ruthless quest for perfection is what made Apple products so good. Let us consider the opposite: if Steve Jobs wasn’t an asshole– what would the iPhone look like, and would it even exist? If Steve Jobs “listened more to the opinion of others”, the modern iPhone would probably look something like a mash-up between a Windows phone and an old Nokia-Razr-flip phone.
This is my simple tip:
Once someone calls you arrogant, stubborn, or an asshole, you’re probably doing something right.
Neve betray yourself.
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